PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is expected to visit Natonin, a town in Mountain Province that took the brunt of Typhoon Rosita (international name Yutu) Tuesday afternoon, October 30.
At least three died after a landslide struck the DPWH 2nd Engineering District in Barangay Banawel at the height of the typhoon.
The Office of the Civil Defense in the Cordillera identified the casualties as Benito Falangad, Jeofrey Nagawa Salangay and Virgilio Roxas.
Five others were rescued, namely, Joventino Lamawen, Inocencio Bolingaw, Fitzgerald Lumpaga, Jupiter Gaawan and Jun Jun Matchamun.
Initial accounts by residents and responders placed the number of casualties at 28, including 20 laborers working on the buildings of DPWH, a project engineer, two security guards and five evacuees. Two evacuees have been accounted for.
Edward Chumawer Jr., head of the Mountain Province Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said clearing operations are underway in the areas that were reported as impassable in the aftermath of the typhoon.
“DPWH have asked the different contractors to help clear the roads from Paracellis going to Natonin and we have revived information coming from the BFP (Bureau of Fire Protection) that they have recovered the body of Virgilio Roxas and one survivor Joventino Lamawen,” Chumawer said.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary Anna Marie Banaag, in a radio interview over Radyo Pilipinas Baguio, said that as of Wednesday morning, October 31, responders coming from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and Bureau of Fire Protection as well as those coming from Paracellis were forced to walk towards the site of the landslide because the road was blocked.
“We were able to talk to one of the security guards who survived and based on his recollection, he noticed the incoming landslide while he was in the process of closing the gate of the building which forced him to take cover at a nearby sewerage,” said Banaag, a former mayor of the town.
Ruben Carandang, Cordillera regional director of OCD, proceeded to the site together with operatives coming from the 54th Infantry Battalion and the Tactical Operations Group 1.
Responders at the site are those coming from the Natonin Municipal Police Office and the Bureau of Fire Protection, Mountain Province Provincial Police Office, the local government unit of Natonin, and the Barlig and Paracellis BFP.