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Archive for Saturday, February 25, 2006

Governor ends search for landslide survivors

February 25, 2006

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— With only 139 bodies recovered and nearly a thousand villagers missing, officials in the Philippines on Friday declared an end to the search for survivors of the landslide that engulfed this farming village a week ago.

Emergency crews will now focus their efforts on helping evacuees who lost their homes in the disaster.

Hundreds of U.S. Marines and other rescue workers have been digging Guinsaugon out from under the mud for the past week but not a single person has been found alive since the first hours after the Feb. 17 disaster.

Rescuers have retrieved 139 bodies, including three more Friday. Another 973 people are believed buried beneath tons of earth that swept over the village when a mountain collapsed, Lerias said

Search teams plan to continue looking for bodies for a week or two before the area is converted into a memorial. Officials plan to shore up the earth so it settles as a giant mound of earth with the remaining bodies inside.

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