Aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut reveals dangers of Philippines mining

World Today

Aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut reveals dangers of Philippines mining

Rescuers in the Philippines are searching for more than 50 people buried by landslides caused by Typhoon Mangkhut. Most of them are miners who disregarded repeated warnings to evacuate.

The tragedy has caused a nation to reexamine it’s mining industry. The official death toll has risen to 74 and authorities fear it will go beyond a hundred.

CGTN’s Barnaby Lo filed this report.

When Lolita Kakanin arrived in the village of Ucab in the northern Philippines, she had already known that her son, Jonathan, died in a landslide. However, seeing his body on the ground, lifeless, was something she could never have been ready for.

Jonathan was one of dozens of gold miners who sought shelter in a bunkhouse as Typhoon Mangkhut approached the Philippines. The landslide buried the bunkhouse and the miners.

The miners had apparently underestimated the potential danger of torrential downpours brought about by the monsoon season and Typhoon Mangkhut, locally known as Ompong.

Residents CGTN spoke with said there was already a small landslide in the area due to monsoon rains, even before Typhoon Mangkhut hit.  It’s a problem even miners may be aware of, but they choose to risk their lives to put food on the table.

With illegal mining operations rampant in the country, and extreme weather unstoppable, there’s fear that the tragedy in Ucab may not be the last.