Sultan sends condolence message to Arroyo

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has consented to send a message of condolence to President of The Philippines, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, following the loss of lives caused by the recent landslide in eastern Philippines.

In the message, His Majesty, the government and people of Brunei Darussalam presented their heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the government and people of The Philippines, especially to the bereaved families of the victims of the disaster, RTB reported.

Meanwhile, rescuers Sunday picked through a sea of mud in search of survivors after the massive landslide buried 1,400 Philippine villagers, but officials conceded hope was all but lost.

More than 48 hours after a mountainside collapsed, sending a wall of mud and boulders crashing into the village of Guinsaugon, rescuers roped together for safety hunted in vain for survivors but found only a few bodies in the muck.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council said 65 bodies had been recovered, 20 people were rescued injured from the scene and 410 people who were away from the village at the time also survived. - Borneo Bulletin (20th Feb 2006)