(UPDATE) 5 killed in Surigao Norte mine cave-in

BUTUAN CITY, Philippines -- Five people were killed when a mining tunnel caved in Monday morning in the village of Magsaysay, Placer, Surigao del Norte, officials here said.

Blance Gobenciong, director of the Office of Civil Defense in the Caraga Region, said search and rescue workers have recovered three bodies buried in mud.

The fatalities were identified as Diosdado Libroso, Malinci Macas and Rodolfo Toyor.

Gobenciong said they were still looking for the bodies of two others already presumed dead.

She said the tunnel was situated near the gold mining site of the defunct Manila Mining Corporation.

Days of incessant rains might have caused the top soil to soften which triggered the tunnel to give in, Gobenciong said.

"The root cause of the landslide could have been the incessant rains since Saturday," she told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net.

A bad weather condition has prevailed throughout Caraga since Saturday brought about by an inter-tropical convergence zone

Officials were closely monitoring the situation and readying emergency responses for possible landslides and floods if the rains continue, swelling major rivers and its tributaries, Gobenciong said.

In Surigao City, Mayor Alfonso Casurra said evacuation was ongoing after the water along the river and coastal areas reached its critical level.

-inquirer.net

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