updated 5/19/2009 9:07:27 AM ET 2009-05-19T13:07:27

Mudslides tumbled down a rain-soaked mountain in the southern Philippines, burying dozens of shanties in a gold mining village and killing at least 26 people, a provincial governor said Tuesday.

A 50-member police and military rescue team headed to the remote village of Napnapan to help search for at least six people missing a day after the landslides hit, said Gov. Arthur Uy of Compostela Valley province.

The village, which normally has no police presence, is about 64 miles (40 kilometers) from the nearest main town and the rescuers brought a back hoe and other heavy equipment to clear the only road leading to it, police Inspector Winifredo Regidor said.

One mudslide slammed into about 30 shanties, followed by another that swept away a house, Uy told The Associated Press by telephone.

About 19 people, most of them miners, were treated for injuries, Uy said. Three of them were airlifted in an air force helicopter that brought in a medical team, police said.

Residents ignored warnings
The landslide-prone area was saturated after days of rain and residents had ignored warnings to leave, Uy said.

"We have been asking them to leave, and we are planning to cordon the area," Uy said. "We are happy to have this gold mining area here. But the dark side are the deaths that occur in these natural calamities."

The area around Mount Diwata — about 580 miles southeast of Manila — has about 40,000 residents, mostly miners and their families.

Forecasters said additional rain over the southern Philippines could trigger more flooding and landslides.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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