2 more die in Bukidnon landslide
- Alexis Romero () - July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Two more landslides hit the province of Bukidnon last Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to seven, disaster management officials said yesterday.

National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) executive officer Benito Ramos said a landslide occurred in Barangay Tongantongan in Valencia City at about 8 a.m., killing two children.

Carmelito Lupo, civil defense chief for Northern Mindanao, identified the two fatalities as Roque Santillan, six, and Joy Colamar, seven, both from Purok 11 in Barangay Tongantongan.

The incident happened a few hours after a landslide killed five people in Barangay Lumbayao also in Valencia City.

Ramos said those killed during the landslide in Barangay Lumbayao were identified as Sheryl Sadsad of San Fernando town, Segundina Lagunay and Marites Lagunay, both of Medina Misamis Oriental. Authorities are still validating the identities of the two other victims.

The Army’s 8th Infantry Battalion reported yesterday that at least six people were killed in the landslide in Barangay Lumbayao.

Ramos, however, said one of the victims was chopped into two and the rescue teams counted them as two persons.

“The report that six were killed was not accurate because the body of a female victim was cut into two. Rescuers found her lower and upper torso,” he said in a press briefing.

Lupo said another landslide occurred Monday afternoon at Barangay Malayanan also in Valencia City and destroyed three houses.

Local police said at least 15 to 20 people are still missing as of press time.

“We are continuously conducting search and rescue operations. We stopped yesterday evening due to rains but we continued them this morning,” Ramos said, adding that the number of casualties could still rise. 

“We cannot ascertain for now how many are missing,” he added.

Ramos urged the people living near the slopes to relocate so they could be spared form the impact of future landslides.

“They should leave those areas. They should avoid slopes and go to safer places. Areas located at the foot of mountains are vulnerable to landslides,” he said.

Ramos said troops from the 8th IB and the local police have been placed on alert for the rescue and retrieval operations.

“City disaster management office in Valencia City requested for additional payloader from Del Monte Philippines Inc. to augment in the clearing operations,” he said. 

Ramos said disaster management officials need additional heavy equipment like bulldozer, grader and payloader to fast track their clearing operations.

The landslides in Bukidnon were caused by the rainy weather that triggered soil erosion. The rains resulted in the erosion of soil into the provincial highway. 

BARANGAY LUMBAYAO BARANGAY MALAYANAN BARANGAY TONGANTONGAN BENITO RAMOS BUKIDNON CARMELITO LUPO DEL MONTE PHILIPPINES INC INFANTRY BATTALION JOY COLAMAR RAMOS VALENCIA CITY
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