1 dead, 3 missing in Mati City landslide

1 dead, 3 missing in Mati City landslide

1 dead, 3 missing in Mati City landslide

SEARCH OPERATION. A search team digs near a river in the mining village of Don Salvador Lopez where a landslide buried four persons on Thursday, December 29.

Mati City LGU

Landslide happens as four men go fishing after a halt in days of heavy rain

DAVAO ORIENTAL, Philippines – Search and rescue teams retrieved on Thursday afternoon, December 29, the body of 62-year-old farmer Restituto Paglanson, among four persons believed buried by a landslide in the mining village of Don Salvador Lopez, Mati City.

At least a hundred of rescuers from the Philippine National Police, the Philippine Army, and provincial and city disaster offices searched on Thursday until around 6 pm for three other persons, all relatives of Paglanson, the president of the sub-village of Sanghay.

The family is part of the Mandaya tribal group living in the area.

The landslide happened after a let-up on Thursday morning of days of heavy rain that caused flash floods and other landslides in Mati, the capital of Davao Oriental province.

The Mati City government’s Facebook page said the 11 am landslide isolated seven purok or sub-villages: Upper Cangusan, Lower Cangusan, Proper Cangusan, Tabon- tabon, New Camotes, Sta. Cruz, and Biasong.

The city disaster office identified the three missing persons as Jethroe Quilat, 14 years old, John Gell Casaligan, 15 years old, and their 52-year-old uncle Roberto Ampo.

Relatives and neighbors said the four men went to the river to fish for freshwater eels when heavy rain stopped on Thursday.

Residents said days of heavy downpour  caused the mountain slope facing their village to collapse. The village of Don Salvador Lopez is host to small and large-scale mining operations.

LANDSLIDE. A mountain slope in the mining village of Don Salvador Lopez in Mati City collapsed on Thursday, December 29, burying four persons who had gone fishing as days of heavy rain eased. Mati City LGU

The search team retrieved the body of Paglanson around 5:38 pm just before dusk caused a halt in operations.

“We decided to stop the search and rescue operation because it is too risky for us already. The soil in the landslide-hit village is so soft because of the series of heavy rains,” said John Rex Mabando of the Mati City disaster office.

“Because of its geographic location, which is so isolated and combined with the soft soil in the landslide-hit area, there is much difficulty in our search and rescue operation. The drone being deployed by the provincial government  in the landslide-hit area is a big help. Because of it, we were able to find the dead body of one of the victims” Mabando added.

Heavy rain due to the shear line, the point where warm air and cold air meet, affected parts of the country during the Christmas weekend, leaving at least 39 dead, 12 injured, and 25 missing. Most of the fatalities were from Northern Mindanao. – Rappler.com

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