Landslide covers 2 vehicles in Mati; 4 dead-A A +A
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
DAVAO -- A landslide struck and covered part of the national highway in Mati City, Davao Oriental along with two motorcycles and a jeepney, burying alive seven persons, with four already confirmed dead.
Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat said the incident happened at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday in Tagabakid village just as the three vehicles were passing the area coming from Tarragona town.
Three of the four confirmed fatalities were identified as Arnel Sucnaan, 35; Arturo Sucnaan, 57; and Leonora Mabandos. The identified victims were said to be passengers of the jeepney.
Edgar Salanio, Mati City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chief, said their retrieval operation is still ongoing as of this posting Tuesday.
The landslide also rendered impassable the national highway connecting Tarragona from Mati City. The village has been experiencing heavy rains the past days that could have triggered the landslide.
Mayor Rabat said Tagabakid village had been identified as extremely high risk area and residents have already been tagged and validated for relocation by the City Government.
Rabat immediately ordered the dispatch of heavy equipment to the landslide area for search and rescue and clearing operation.
Mati City Administrator Richard Villacorte said about 100 meters of the national highway in Sitio Colilisi is covered by the landslide.
He said they are working overnight to clear the road and expects the same to be passable by Wednesday morning.
As of 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Villacorte said the rescuers have recovered one motorcycle with one unidentified passenger, bringing the number of fatalities to four.
He said they expect to find the second motorcycle anytime tonight (Tuesday night). (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)