5 dead, 6 missing in Leyte landslide

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Friday, March 1, 2013

TACLOBAN CITY (Updated) -- At least five persons working on a project for a geothermal power plant in Kananga town in Leyte died while six others went missing after a landslide hit the area on Friday.

Radio and television reports said the incident happened in the Upper Mahiao Geothermal Project of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), which is under the Lopez Group of Companies.

Ormoc City Mayor Eric Codilla said the incident happened in Upper Mahiao, Barangay Lim-aw, Kananga, adding 11 people were immediately rushed to a hospital for treatment.

It was reported that incessant rains may have softened the soil in the area, resulting in the landslide.

"Two weeks of intermittent rain triggered a landslide late this morning in EDC's Pad 403 of its Upper Mahiao Geothermal Project in Leyte. The Emergency Response Team and all available personnel, as well as company resources and equipment have already been mobilized," the company said in a statement.

Authorities assured that they are already coordinating with the family of the victims for the necessary aid.

It was said that 43 workers were in the site when the incident happened. Thirty-six workers were already accounted for, including 21 people who were treated for minor injuries.

The Office of Civil Defense earlier considered the village as one of the landslide prone areas in Eastern Visayas.

Search and retrieval operations for the missing workers were temporarily suspended late Friday, television reports said. (Sunnex)

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