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More than 1,400 people missing

A massive landslide buried the Guinsaugon village in the south of Leyte island in central Philippines.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 12:22 IST

More than 1,400 people are missing after a massive landslide buried a village in the central Philippines, a senior civil defence official said on Saturday.

Adriano Fuego, director of civil defence operations in the area,said that 1,420 were missing, there were 117 survivors, and 23 bodies had been recovered at Guinsaugon village in the south of Leyte island.

Earlier, Maria Lim, mayor of the nearby town of Saint Bernard, and Roger Mercado, the legislator representing the district, estimated the number of missing villagers at up to 3,000.

Fuego discounted an earlier report by rescue official Hermigildo Castil that 109 bodies had so far been found.

There has been confusion over the actual number of people who lived in the village. The 2000 census put the population at 1,411 while local officials have put the population at around 3,000.

The Office of Civil Defence in Manila said a Briton it identified as "Rebor White" was among the dead. It was not immediately clear if this was a man or a woman.

The office confirmed in a statement that 206 pupils and 40 teachers are trapped inside an elementary school buried by Friday's massive landslide.

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 11:02 IST