THE provincial government of Davao de Oro revealed that they have to resort to aerial surveillance and the use of air ambulances in the Masara tragedy due to its geographic position and the massive impact of the landslide that left 11 fatalities as of press time.
This, after the province temporarily halted the search, rescue, and retrieval operations for the missing employees of the Apex Mining Co. Inc. (Apex) and several residents of Zone 1, Barangay Masara, municipality of Monkayo, due to the consistent bad weather and soil movement.
“Ang laki po ng challenges kasi unang-una, ang laki po ng bundok na bumagsak at nagka-landslide. Yung condition ng weather, medyo maambon kasi and hindi pwedeng gamitan siguro ng heavy equipment kasi may mga tao sa ilalim na pwedeng matamaan ng mga heavy equipment,” Edward Macapili, executive assistant on Information and Communications of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office-Davao de Oro (PDRRMO-DDO) said in a media interview.
(There’s a huge challenge because first of all, the mountain that eroded and caused a heavy landslide was huge. The weather condition is a bit foggy and heavy equipment may not be used because there are people underneath who could be hit by the heavy equipment).
A total of 11 municipalities in the province and several local government units (LGUs) in the region, through their respective humanitarian and disaster security clusters, have already collaborated with PDRRMO-DDO for the conduct of intensive disaster operations.
However, the information excludes rescuers from the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP).
Based on the initial update of LGU-Maco, the landslide that transpired on Tuesday night of February 6, had displaced 758 families from the barangays of Masara, Mainit, Tagbaros, Elizalde, and Panibasan.
As of press writing, 31 individuals have already been taken to nearby hospitals and 110 are still missing. Authorities reported that the number of fatalities, which is 11 as of press time, may increase as there are still miners/employees of the mining company who have not yet been retrieved. DEF