Death toll in Itogon, Benguet, now at 69

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The death toll in Itogon, Benguet, has climbed to 69, Cordillera regional police said on Saturday, September 22.

Chief Superintendent Rolando Nana said in an update sent to reporters that of the total number of fatalities in Itogon town due to Typhoon Ompong, 44 were from Barangay Ucab. The latest figures were as of Saturday, 8:30 pm.

Authorities said 41 of the 44 deaths in Barangay Ucab are due to the landslide, and the rest are from other causes.

Strong winds and rains brought by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) triggered landslides in Itogon. In Barangay Ucab, a landslide buried a miners’ bunkhouse in the town on  Saturday morning, September 15. (READ: LIST: Deadly landslides in the Philippines)

On Friday, September 21, the Department of National Defense's Office of Civil Defense (OCD), scaled down the number of people allowed on the site to just 30 rescuers, due to concerns over another possible landslide because of continued rains in the area.

Two backhoes were supposed to be in the area to augment the search opeations. – With a report from Rambo Talabong/Rappler.com

Read more stories from Rappler's coverage of the Itogon landslide: