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Philippine miners dig for their own in typhoon landslide

21 September 2018

It was one of the worst calamities to hit the disaster-prone Philippines this year and refocused attention on a persistent dilemma: What to do about the large number of poor who live and work on or near steep mountains, volcanoes, quake faults and storm-vulnerable coastlines out of desperation?

The mighty winds broke glasses of commercial buildings, brought down materials from under-construction buildings, uprooted trees and blocked roads.

Windows across Hong Kong were blown out by wind gusts that were recorded at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Qassemi expressed sorrow over the deaths caused by Hurricane Florence and Typhoon Mangkhut that battered the USA, the Philippines, and China.

Debris Scaffolding torn from Hong Kong buildings
Debris Scaffolding torn from Hong Kong buildings

One estimate suggested that a single day's shutdown for Hong Kong could cost the city as much as $930 million in economic activity.

In Hong Kong, crews cleared fallen trees and other wreckage left from when the financial hub felt the full brunt of the storm Sunday.

Philippine officials say that gold mines tunneled by big mining companies and by unauthorized small miners have made the hillsides unstable and more prone to landslides.

Mangkhut mauled Hong Kong with 175km/h (109mph) winds and there was a record storm surge, with floodwaters reaching their highest levels since 1904, according to the city's forecaster.

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"They can't decide for themselves where to go", he said of the children, expressing frustration that the tragedy was not prevented.

Tearful families surrounded a whiteboard bearing names of the dead and missing as others inspected recovered bodies for signs these could be their loved ones. After making landfall in China's most populous province, Guangdong, it killed four before heading west into neighbouring Guangxi province late Sunday night.

China Southern Airlines scrapped all flights to and from Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hong Kong on Sunday, and suspended those after midday in Zhanjiang and Haikou, and later than 1pm in Beihai.

Four more were killed in China s southern province of Guangdong.

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Deadly Typhoon Mangkhut initially ripped through northern Philippines, killing over 60 people. In the mining town of Itogon in the north of the island nation, hundreds of rescue workers using shovels and sometimes their bare hands battled treacherous conditions and heat to search for survivors after the typhoon's heavy rains triggered two landslides.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Philippine Red Cross have launched an international emergency appeal, seeking 2.7 million Swiss francs (152 million Philippines pesos) to assist 100,000 people for 12 months.

In Macau, badly hit by a super typhoon previous year, authorities were much more prepared this time, ordering casinos to close late on Saturday night as the storm approached.

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Philippine miners dig for their own in typhoon landslide