Tragedy strikes as landslide claims lives of Christian worshippers in southern Philippines

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Ten Christian worshippers, including five children, lost their lives in the southern Philippines when a landslide struck the house where they had gathered for prayer.

Officials reported on Friday that those inside were holding Christian prayer sheets when the natural disaster occurred following heavy rain.

In the gold-mining town of Monkayo in Davao de Oro province, a search is underway to recover more bodies from the remote mountain village.

People residing near the area have been instructed to evacuate due to concerns about additional landslides and mudslides caused by intermittent downpours.

Ednar Dayanghirang, the regional chief of the government's office of civil defence, mentioned that two others were injured, and at least one person remains unaccounted for.

Three additional bodies were discovered after the search was briefly halted due to the risk of another landslide.

"They were praying in the house when the landslide hit ... It's sad but it's the reality on the ground," added Mr Dayanghirang.

Days of heavy rain also led to flooding in low-lying villages, displacing over 36,000 people in Davao de Oro and three other provinces, according to the office of civil defence.

The weather began to clear later on Friday in some areas, facilitating the ongoing search. The rain was triggered by a shear line, a meeting point of warm and cold air. The Philippine archipelago experiences around 20 storms and typhoons annually, particularly during the rainy season starting in June.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest on record, resulted in over 7,300 people dead or missing, flattened entire villages, shifted ships inland, and displaced more than five million in the central Philippines.