At least 25 people were killed after a landslide swept through a tiny gold-mining village in the Philippines on Thursday, and left dozens more people buried beneath the rubble.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the landslide hit a remote village of 100 families near Pantukan at approximately 3 a.m. local time, according to the Philippine Star.
Filipinos looking for gold in the area have used tunnels that are unstable, prompting repeated government warnings of the danger of landslides.
We were absolute that it will give in, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Ramon Paje told The Associated Press. It was a 100 percent warning. We told them it's just a matter of time....This is it. This is what happened this morning.
Heavy rain in the area has made the search for missing individuals difficult and increased the risk for future landslides, Pantukan town spokesman Arnulfo Lantayan told AP.
Fourteen people died last April after a landslide occurred in the same area last year. Although local officials evacuated the mining area following that landslide, local migrants came back in order to take advantage of sky-high gold prices.
The village is on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, where flash floods by Tropical Storm Washi killed more than 1,250 people in December.