Maco landslide death toll rises to 71; search shifts to retrieval operations

DAVAO DE ORO. In this February 9, 2024 handout photo from Municipality of Monkayo, rescuers recover bodies at the landslide-hit village of Maco in Davao de Oro province, southern Philippines.
DAVAO DE ORO. In this February 9, 2024 handout photo from Municipality of Monkayo, rescuers recover bodies at the landslide-hit village of Maco in Davao de Oro province, southern Philippines.AP

RESCUERS have retrieved 71 bodies from the massive landslide in Barangay Masara in Maco, Davao de Oro, local officials said Tuesday, February 13, 2024.

In a press briefing, deputy incident commander Ferdinand Dobli also announced that Maco Mayor Voltaire Rimando issued Executive Order 15 for the shift of their efforts to search and retrieval operations from search and rescue starting Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

He said the order came following an advisory from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the possible ground movement in the face of the landslide.

Dobli said this was also the reason rescuers stopped their operations as of 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Leah Anora, head of the management of the dead and the missing cluster, said that a total of 71 bodies were retrieved from the landslide, in which 17 are still unidentified.

They were brought to St. Peter Funeral Homes Montevista and Cofreros Rosario Funeral Homes.

Anora said 47 individuals are still missing but verification is ongoing.

Dobli maintained that rescuers will continue looking for more bodies from the landslide.

He said they are using drones to monitor the movement of the land in the landslide area to ensure the safety of the rescuers. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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