1,800 feared dead in Philippines mudslide

Feb. 18, 2006 at 7:36 AM
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SOUTHERN LEYTE, Philippines, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Philippine relief workers Saturday continued searching for more than 1,800 people missing after a mudslide covered most of a mountainside village.

Only 56 residents of Southern Leyte have been found after a mudslide Friday covered the village, burying all but three houses, CNN reported.

Eleven other villages in the area have been evacuated for fears of further landslides after a record rainfall turned the mountainside into 30-foot deep mud.

Weather conditions and the extent of the mudslide hampered rescue efforts.

The official death toll was 35 as of Saturday morning when the search was restarted.

Included in the missing are the 253 students and teachers in an elementary school.

Philippine President Gloria Arroyo deployed the countries navy and coast guard to the area to help in the search.

The United States and the Red Cross also sent people and supplies for the relief effort.

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