NATONIN, Mountain Province – Five people died, twenty two others are still missing while fourteen individuals were able to survive a huge landslide that buried a four-story building of the Department of Public works and Highways – Second Mountain Province District Engineering Office (DPWH-SMPDEO) at Sacrang, Banawel, here, Tuesday afternoon.
Mayor Mateo Chiyawan claimed that the occurrence of the landslide was reportedly triggered by the strong winds and heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Rosita which traversed the Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos Regions Tuesday that resulted to the occurrence of numerous landslides, floodings among other damages to life and limb in the said places.
He explained that the increase in the number of survivors was due to the fact that most of them were shocked on what they saw and immediately sought refuge in the houses of their relatives last night before reporting to the municipal disaster risk reduction and management office for them to be delisted from the missing persons due to the landslide incident.
He disclosed that 2 of the 14 survivors were considered to have been rescued last night because upon seeing the flow of mud and rocks from the mountain slope, they were able to seek cover from a box culvert in the area and tried their best to maneuver themselves out to be seen by the initial wave of rescuers who were dispatched in the site.
Earlier, it was reported that those who were trapped inside the government structure being built by two contractors included 20 laborers, 3 security guards, 6 to 7 residents in the area and a project engineer.
Emergency responders from other neighboring provinces have a difficult time extending assistance in the remote area because all roads leading to this town are allegedly closed due to various landslides along the way which were caused on the wrath of Tropical Cyclone Rosita, thus, units of heavy
equipment from various DPWH offices nearby were mobilized to clear the slides to allow volunteers and relief supplies to be brought to the town proper.
The buried DPWH structure is located below the Bontoc-Barlig-Natonin-Paracelis national road and it is undergoing construction after the creation of the DPWH-SMPDEO over two years ago through legislation.
Chiyawan said that the continuous rains is contributing to the delay in the conduct of search and rescue operations for the reported missing individuals. By heraldexpress and DZBS Baguio news team