Philippines halts risky mining in mountains hit by typhoon

ITOGON, Philippines (AP) — The Philippine government has ordered a stop to all illegal mining in six mountainous northern provinces in a drastic decision to prevent more tragedies after Typhoon Mangkhut set off landslides that trapped dozens of poor people, including small-scale miners.

Environmental Secretary Roy Cimatu announced the ban during a news conference Monday in Benguet province, where 54 of the 65 typhoon deaths in the Philippines occurred. Mangkhut hit the Philippines on Saturday and Hong Kong on Sunday before weakening to a tropical storm Monday in inland China, where four have died.

Cimatu said army troops and police would be deployed to enforce the ban, which covers about 10,000 small miners in Benguet’s Itogon town, where dozens of poor miners and their families were feared buried by a landslide.

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