AROUND seven individuals have been confirmed dead, with 31 injured and 48 missing, following a massive landslide on Tuesday evening, February 6, 2024, in Barangay Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro.
The Provincial Government of Davao de Oro, in a Facebook post, reported the recovery of the bodies and the injuries sustained, with the injured individuals receiving urgent medical attention at Montevista Hospital and Davao Regional Medical Center.
Approximately 48 people are still missing, and around 758 families have sought refuge in evacuation centers in Barangay Elizalde and Panibasan.
Edward Macapili, executive assistant of the Governor of Davao de Oro, in a phone interview, told SunStar Davao that there were two buses carrying workers from a prominent mining company, buried by the landslide at approximately 7:50 p.m. on February 6.
Due to the significant risk of another landslide, rescue operations were temporarily halted on the night of the incident, resuming on the morning of February 7, resulting in the recovery of bodies around 12:30 p.m.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management teams from Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and 11 other municipalities Pantukan, Maco, Nabunturan, Mawab, Laak, Monkayo, Montevista, and Maragusan collaborated in the ongoing rescue and retrieval efforts.
Macapili expressed hope for survivors, emphasizing the urgency of the operations.
“Mao nay paglaom sa tanan nga naa pa untay nangabuhi nga kaigsoonan natu nga natabunan mao nang pinaspasay ang rescue o retrieval operations niani (This is the hope of everyone – that there are still survivors among those buried. That's why we are expediting the rescue and retrieval operations in the area),” he said.
“Atong iampo, atong paningkamutan– nga ma recover natu ni ang mga natabunan (Let us pray and strive together – hoping that we can recover those who are buried),” he added.
The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (MDRRMO) attributed the landslide to continuous rain caused by the shear line and the low-pressure area (LPA).
In response to the incident, the Local Government Unit of Maco suspended classes at all levels on February 7, 2024.
MDRRMO Maco urged the public to refrain from spreading fake news to prevent panic and assured that accurate information about the landslide incident would be provided.
A drone's images captured on February 7 revealed a portion of the mountain giving way, impacting the residential area of Masara where miners reside.
The localized weather forecast by Pagasa-Davao warned of possible flash floods and landslides due to moderate to heavy rains in the region. RGP