The death toll of 6.9 magnitude earthquake that hit three towns of Jimalalud, La Libertad and Guihulngan in Negros Oriental province in Central Philippines Monday rose to 53 as of Tuesday while 29 others were buried alive.
In an interview Tuesday morning with Mayor Ernesto Reyes of Guihulngan, 10 were confirmed dead and 29 were buried when a mountain collapsed in Planas village.
Reyes said some people remain in critical condition due to falling debris and are being treated in different hospitals.
"We have so many hospital patients, maybe 100. About 10 or 20 remain in critical condition due to injuries. Our infrastructures here were also damaged," said Reyes.
Many of those killed in the town proper were students who were buried when their school collapsed.
Reyes said no rescue operation could be done in Planas village, where most of the houses were covered by sand. It remains unreachable after the bridge connecting it to the town proper collapsed. Aside from that, he said, no equipment could be used for the rescue effort.
Reyes advises the residents to remain outside of their homes and rest to gain strength in dealing with the damage left by the earthquake to buildings, houses and roads.
"So I advise my people, including myself, to relax first, stay out of the house to avoid falling debris. We have no power, no water because the lines were blown by tremor. We need help, we have from Dumaguete City but it could reach us because the bridge collapsed, " said the mayor.