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5 Jan, 2012 01:43

Landslide in Philippines kills 25

A landslide in the Philippines' southern Mindanao region has killed at least 25 people, according to local officials. More than 100 others remain buried in the rubble.

The landslide hit a small-scale mining area in the Pantukan township before dawn Thursday, authorities said. Around 120 soldiers have been sent to the scene to help dig for survivors and bodies.Last month flash floods triggered by a tropical storm hit the same area, killing more than 1,250 people.Officials note that miners and their families had been warned of the high risks of working in the area. Some of the residents had been forced to leave their houses following the April 2011 landslide that killed 20 not far from the latest disaster location.Meanwhile, Philippine presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the death toll was "totally unacceptable" and blamed the local government for failing to evacuate miners from an area previously deemed as hazardous."There will be an investigation and some accountability," Lacierda told the media. "Evacuation is the responsibility of local government officials."

Every year during the Philippines' wet season – which usually lasts from June to December – some twenty landslides and typhoons hit the country on average, often causing heavy floods. A 1991 disaster holds the record in number of victims, killing around 6,000 on the island of Leyte.