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Philippines to shut some mines after landslide buries gold-rush village

Rolex Dela Pena / EPA

People return to their homes after a landslide at a mining community at Napnapan village in Compostela Valley, southern Philippines, on Jan. 6, 2012. Rescuers dug through mud and debris in a search for people missing in a landslide that buried a gold-rush village in the southern Philippines.

Reuters

Rescuers use shovels to dig at the site of a landslide during a search and rescue operation on Jan. 6, 2012.

Rolex Dela Pena / EPA

16 people were confirmed rescued after the landslide struck at dawn on Jan. 5, burying at least 50 shanty houses in the village.

AP

The extent of the landslide that buried a small-scale mining community is shown on Jan. 6.

The Associated Press reports from MANILA, Philippines:

The Philippine government on Friday ordered the shutdown of gold-mining tunnels threatened by landslides in a southern town where a chunk of a mountain tumbled down on sleeping residents, killing at least 27 people. 

Mine shafts honeycomb the hills and mountains in Pantukan, making them unstable and causing frequent accidents. The area is a magnet for the poor and the unemployed who do not have any training in mining but hope to strike it rich in a country where the poorest live on about one dollar a day. The miners dig for gold with basic implements — pickaxes and iron bars — and carry the ore in sacks on their backs. Read the full story.

See earlier images of the tragedy in Thursday's post on PhotoBlog