Landslide hit Southern Philippines – 68 confirmed deaths and 63 missing

Landslide hit Southern Philippines – 68 confirmed deaths and 63 missing
Rescuers are providing medical attention to a baby at the landslide. © Philippines Red Cross, via Epa. February 9th, 2024.


Yasemin Beyza Uçar


Global Human Rights Defence.

On February 6th, after weeks of heavy rain, a landslide formed in the mountain village of Masara in the Davao de Oro province. The landslide destroyed a gold-mining village in Southern Philippines. It hit 55 homes, three buses, and a jeepney. Initially, officials confirmed seven deaths but as of February 14th, the death toll rose to 68 confirmed deaths. Around 32 residents survived the landslide with injuries, but it is specified that another 63 people remain missing. 

It is established that among those who are still missing, there are gold miners who were waiting in three buses to get home before the landslide hit and buried them. Among those who have died, there are currently 42 residents and 26 mining employees. 

An official from the Davao de Oro province mentioned that more than 300 people reached out and helped in the operations even though the process was slowed down by heavy rain, thick mud, and the additional fear of another landslide. Many family members of the missing people gathered around the destroyed buildings, hoping to find their loved ones under the rubble. More than 1000 families were relocated to evacuation centres. A local official named Edward Macapili stated that it is unlikely that there are any more survivors. 

These landslides occur repeatedly across the Philippines due to its mountainous terrain, heavy rainfall, and extensive deforestation from mining and illegal logging. 

Parts of Mindanao have also been affected by heavy monsoon rains for weeks, causing landslides that forced thousands of people to be displaced into emergency shelters. 

Furthermore, an earthquake hit the Southern Philippines on February 10th, which forced the rescue team to leave the area. The earthquake hit the Mindanao region with a magnitude of 5.8. The rescue team in the Davao de Oro province could not continue for more than 30 minutes as they sent drones to look for potential secondary landslides, to make sure that the lives of the rescuers were not at risk. There are currently no reports of any injuries or damages. 

Sources and further readings

Al Jazeera, ‘Death toll rises to 54 in southern Philippines landslide’ (Al Jazeera, 11 February 2024) accessed 11 February 2024.

Daniel Binns, ‘Dozens dead in Philippines landslide’ (Skynews, 11 February 2024)  accessed 11 February 2024.

Flora Drury, ‘Philippines landslide: Death toll rises to 68 in Davao de Oro’ (BBC News, 12 February 2024) accessed 14 February 2024.