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Death toll in landslide-hit Philippine mountain village rises to 11 with more than 100 missing

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Rescuers dug out more bodies from a landslide-hit southern Philippine village on Thursday, bringing the death toll to 11 as the number of missing rose to 110, officials said.

At least 31 residents survived with injuries when the landslide hit the gold-mining mountain village of Masara in Davao de Oro province on Tuesday night, officials said.

Army troops, police and volunteers halted their search for the missing Thursday afternoon due to fears of more landslides and will begin a “retrieval operation” on Friday, Davao de Oro provincial spokesperson Edward Macapili said by telephone.

“The idea that it will be hard to find more survivors among the missing has been acknowledged,” Macapili said.

More than 1,165 families have been moved to evacuation centers for their safety, disaster response officials said.

Among the missing were some gold miners who had been waiting in two buses to be driven home when the landslide hit and buried the buses, Macapili said.

Several miners jumped out of the windows or dashed away and survived, he said.

Torrential rains that swamped the mountainous region in recent weeks had eased and the weather was clear when the landslide hit. Earthquakes also damaged houses and buildings in the region in recent months, officials said.