Rescue team in Itogon downsized due to landslide threats

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Itogon, Benguet (CNN Philippines, September 21) — The Office of Civil Defense on Friday trimmed down the number of rescuers searching for residents missing in the landslide site in Itogon, Benguet due to threats of another landslide.

From 900 rescuers per day, OCD downsized it to 30. The move will indefinitely delay efforts to search for at least 40 people still missing in the rubble. 

Authorities also forced residents in Barangay Ucab in Itogon to evacuate.

The OCD's decision was based on the observation of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the government agency tasked to regulate mining operations, that there were cracks in the land. It was a precautionary measure to avoid more deaths..

Thirty-two bodies have been recovered so far from the abandoned mining site of Benguet Corporation in Barangay Ucab. A landslide buried the bunkhouse-turned-church where small-scale miners and their families sought refuge as Typhoon Ompong battered northern Luzon on Saturday.