Erosion on the side of a hill is seen after a landslide in Cebu, Philippines, Sept. 20, 2018. VHANN QUISIDO/via REUTERS

UPDATE: 5.00 a.m. EDT — According to reports, the death toll in the landslide has increased to 11. Naga city Mayor Kristine Vanessa Chiong confirmed 64 people were still missing. Rescuers are treading carefully in small groups to avoid further casualties as the ground remains unstable.

Original story

At least five people were killed and around 30 homes buried after a landslide struck Cebu province, Philippines, early Thursday. According to reports, 50 to 80 people were still missing and several were feared buried, including two who sent text messages seeking help.

Angelene Templo, an assistant to the Naga City mayor's office, said more than 300 villagers were evacuated from the area for safety.

Among the dead were a four-year-old boy and an elderly woman whose bodies were pulled out from the mud in the city of Naga, Bureau of Fire Protection rescue chief Supt. Samuel Tadeo said.

Naga city Councillor Carmelino Cruz Jr. said seven people were rescued in two spots from the landslide-hit area.

“We’re running out of time. The ground in the area is still vibrating. We’re striking a balance between intensifying our rescue efforts and ensuring the safety of our rescuers,” Cruz said, South China Morning Post reported.

The search and rescue operations were underway for the missing and authorities said they were receiving several messages asking for help.

Chief Inspector of the Naga police, Roderick Gonzales, said 20 to 25 houses were affected in Tinaan and 10 houses in Naalad regions.

Speaking about what could have led to the disaster, Marian Z. Codilla of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 7 said the cracks leading to the landslide were triggered by natural phenomenon and the agency has recommended close monitoring of the area, and the evacuation of residents, GMA News Online reported.