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Houseflies aid rescuers in locating bodies in landslide

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DAVAO CITY – Philippine rescuers are now being aided by swarms of houseflies in locating buried bodies in a mountain village in Mindanao struck by landslide last week.

So far, 13 people had been rescued in Compostela Valley’s Pantukan town where 11 more are still missing in the landslide that buried at least 20 houses, mostly owned by gold miners.

On Tuesday, five more bodies were recovered from the site. And of the total 13 cadavers, two remain unidentified, said Army Major Rosa Maria Cristina Manuel, a spokeswoman for the 10th Infantry Division.

She said rescuers were relying on swarms of houseflies in their search for bodies buried under mud and boulders.

“The flies are a big help in the retrieval operations because they swarm around the area where bodies are buried deep in the mud and true enough the bodies are there,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.

Manuel said at least 110 houses were demolished on Wednesday by their owners after local government authorities in Compostela Valley’s Pantukan town ordered their evacuation barely a week after the tragedy struck.

Many of those who were evacuated have been brought to temporary shelters in the town. “Relief goods from different donors were distributed to the evacuation centers,” she said. (Mindanao Examiner)




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