The death toll from Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines has hit 74, with 55 missing and feared dead, mainly due to landslides in northern provinces, police said Tuesday.
Most of the dead, about 60, were reported from the northern Cordillera region, which includes Benguet province, where a massive landslide buried an old mining site in the town of Itogon.
Fifty-two of the missing were also from the Cordillera, according to national police spokesman, senior superintendent Benigno Durana.
Hundreds of police officers, soldiers, emergency workers and volunteers were helping dig through thick mud and other debris to search for the missing in the old mining site in Itogon, Durana said.
We will not lose hope and, with our prayers, we will not stop until the last of our fellow Filipinos will be accounted for,” he told reporters. “We are hoping against hope that we will recover someone alive.”
“Miracles can still happen,” he added.
More than 219 500 residents were displaced by the typhoon, which also forced the cancellation of nearly 300 domestic and international flights. It also disrupted sea travel, according to the risk reduction council.
The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 cyclones every year, causing floods, landslides and other accidents.
One of the strongest in recent memory, Typhoon Haiyan, hit the country in November 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and displacing more than 4 million.