Landslide kills three in Philippines mining town

MANILA, March 31 (Reuters) – Landslides triggered by heavy
rain buried some houses and mining tunnels on the southern
Philippine island of Mindanao, killing at least three people and
wounding two others, an army spokesman said on Thursday.

Soldiers and emergency workers searched for people who may
have been trapped inside illegal mining tunnels in southern town
T’boli in South Cotabato, Lieutenant-Colonel Lyndon Paniza said.

The tunnels hit by the landslide were dug by small-scale
miners near the gold and silver mines operated by Tribal Mining
Corporation, which is partly owned by Canadian mining firm Cadan
Resources Corp .

“Mud and boulders cascaded from the top of the mountain as
heavy rain loosened up the soil, hitting houses and offices of a
mining company,” Paniza said. “Our boys had pulled out three
bodies from under tonnes of mud outside the covered tunnel.”

Paniza said two people were also injured and brought to a
nearby hospital for treatment. Residents near the mine area had
been ordered to relocate temporarily as sustained rains could
trigger another mudslide, he added.

Cadan Resources has estimated the T’boli project contains
420,000 ounces of gold and 1.6 million ounces of silver.

Landslides and flooding are a risk during the Philippines’
rainy season, which usually starts in May and lasts until
September. That has been increased by illegal mining and logging
in many parts of the country.

Areas susceptible to landslides include shanty towns in
mining areas in the northern mountains on the main island of
Luzon and on the southern island of Mindanao.

(Reporting by Manny Mogato; Editing by John Mair and Daniel

Landslide kills three in Philippines mining town