Landslide wipes out 100 houses in Philippines

Updated: 2011-08-09 14:00


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SUBIC, Philippines - Heavy rains triggered a landslide that destroyed about 100 houses in a mountainside village west of Manila, but the more than 300 villagers managed to escape in time, officials said Tuesday.

Mayor Jefferson Khonghun said casualties were prevented by posting guards to watch conditions and warn residents when to leave Asinan village, near his town of Subic about 80 kilometers west of Manila.

Many residents left well in advance of the landslide, and those remaining fled when they heard the roar of falling rock and debris from above, Subic official Edwin Reyes said.

"It's a tragedy, but the bright side is we did not lose anybody," Khonghun said.

Meanwhile, dozens of workers were using bulldozers and backhoes to dig a dike to protect another nearby community with about 300 houses.

The mayor said a recent quake may have shifted earth near the mountaintop to open a crack that then filled with rainwater, leading to landslides. He said officials would also investigate whether a nearby upscale residential complex might have built a canal diverting rainwater toward the village.

Officials were looking for land where the displaced villagers could rebuild homes.

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