5 killed in Puerto Princesa landslide

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY -- Four members of a family and a three-year-old girl died when they were buried by a landslide in Barangay Liwanag, this city, around 10 p.m. Monday, May 29.

The fatalities were identified as Allan Vidor, 44, and his wife Marites, 42; their children Ashley, 2, and Ashmira, 1; and a child of their neighbor identified as Aiah Rabon.

The victims were all residents of Zone 3, Barangay Liwanag.

They were killed when a huge amount of soil fell on their homes some 30 feet below, according to Kilos Agad Action Center (Kaac) chief Archie Robert Alarcon.

The Vidor's house was completely buried while other houses were damaged.

“The rescue was really difficult, we were only able to get Allan. His wife Marites, and their two children perished in the landslide. This is a hazard-prone area, and living here means danger,” said Alarcon.

Allan and Aiah were initially rescued but both died several hours later at the nearby Multi-Purpose Cooperative Hospital.

Zaida Sayson, chairwoman of Liwanag, immediately ordered the evacuation of 25 families from the landslide area to the barangay hall. The evacuees are being assisted by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

Sayson said the families would no longer be allowed to return to their homes due to possibility of another landslide.

The area where the Rabons and the Vidors live, as well as the evacuees, is caught between the seawaters of the bay of Puerto Princesa City and a towering loam wall that can weaken due to heavy rains.

“They can no longer be allowed to return because it is dangerous in the area. If it rains hard, who knows, another landslide might happen?” said Andrew Atienza of the Office of Mayor Luis Marcaida.

Atienza said support would be given by the City Government to the victims of the landslide and the evacuees upon orders of Marcaida.

“Yes, the mayor has already ordered support to be given to them by the city’s CSWDO,” he said.

Witnesses in the area said the Vidors were already sleeping when the landslide occurred.

“Most of us were already sleeping when suddenly we heard a loud crash, like woods breaking so deafeningly, and when we looked outside, Marites’ home was already gone. We realized it got buried under that eroded soil,” said Eliza Larawan, a neighbor of the Vidors. (PNA)

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