February 10, 2012 / 5:52 AM / 6 years ago

Death toll in Philippines earthquake rises to 35

MANILA (Reuters) - The death toll from landslides triggered by an earthquake in the central Philippines has risen to 35 and scores of missing are feared dead as rains and aftershocks hamper rescue efforts, disaster officials said on Friday.

A magnitude 6.7 quake struck near Tayasan town on central Negros island on Monday, damaging bridges, highways, some public buildings, and toppling power and communications lines. Churches and houses were also destroyed.

More than 1,400 aftershocks had been recorded since Monday, making it difficult for rescuers to search for survivors due to unstable ground and softened by several days of rains.

Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, told Reuters soldiers found the body of a woman on Friday after rescue operations resumed.

“We have brought in thermal imaging machines and powerful cameras to determine if there are still survivors trapped under tonnes of soil and boulders in the landslide areas,” Ramos said.

“We will continue our search for survivors, we will not give up even if four days had gone by. I believe in miracles.”

Reporting By Manny Mogato; Editing by Nick Macfie

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