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Burials Begin for Victims of Philippines Landslide


Officials in the Philippines have ordered the mass burial of 29 unidentified victims of the huge landslide that buried a village on Friday, as hope for finding survivors fades.

More than 1,800 people lived in the village of Guinsaugon, on the eastern island of Leyte, when a mountainside collapsed and buried in it mud and boulders.

Twenty people have been rescued, and about 70 bodies recovered, but officials say about 1,400 people remain missing.

That number takes into account the residents who were confirmed as being elsewhere when the landslide struck.

The landslide followed weeks of heavy rain.

A team of U.S. Marines arrived in the area on Sunday to assist with recovery efforts, while Japan, Australia, Thailand and Taiwan offered cash or emergency relief goods.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his regular Sunday address, appealed to pilgrims in St. Peter's Square to join him in prayer for the victims.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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