Landslide toll jumps to 29 in Naga, Cebu

Published September 21, 2018, 2:47 PM

by iManila Developer

By Agence France-Presse

The death toll from the landslide in the city of Naga, Cebu province has risen to 29, officials said Friday, as rescuers dug through the night in a frantic search for survivors of typhoon Ompong.

 A landslide occurred in Tinaan, Naga City, Cebu this morning, Sept. 20, 2018. Search and rescue teams are in the area to look for victims. (Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN)
A landslide occurred in Tinaan, Naga City, Cebu morning of Sept. 20, 2018. Search and rescue teams are in the area to look for victims. (Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela / MANILA BULLETIN)

Dozens were still missing after part of a massive hillside collapsed Thursday on several rural communities.

The rescue effort came as typhoon Ompong, which killed 88, mostly in a massive landslide in the mining community of Itogon, Benguet.

Officials identified 20 of the fatalities as three-year-old Mark Laurence Campanilla, four-year-old Althea Siton, seven-year-old Lance Noah Lobiano, eight-year-old Jazwel Campanilla, Jemuel Campanilla, 12, Lemuel Campanilla, 33, Jenessa Campanilla, 32, Annabel Lobiano, 40, Romeo Jabonilia, 40, Michael Versales, 16, Vianca Versales, 19, Raul Gepuit, 47, Laura Capoy, 52, Nina Siton, Crystal Jean Siton, Juanito Siton, 42, Emeliana Siton, 85, Jocelyn Siton, Lauro Campanilla, Aracelle Lobiano, 49. The identities of the other fatalities were not immediately known.

Around 200 police, firemen, and specialists using heavy equipment were still looking for about 50 people, Regner said.

“We hope to recover everyone today so as not to prolong the agony of the relatives,” he added.

Cebu was not directly hit by Ompong, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, but has been pounded by heavy monsoon rain for days, making the slopes dangerously loose.

Police forced about 20 people to vacate nearby homes and move to evacuation centers overnight Thursday out of concern there could be more landslides, Regner said.

The efforts came as searchers in the north continued to work to recover the corpses of suspected dozens of people buried in a landslide Saturday.

After days of hundreds of rescuers digging with shovels and even their bare hands in the mining community of Itogon, heavy equipment has finally arrived to help accelerate the search.

Small-scale miners and their families were buried after their bunkhouse and other homes were hit by one of the dozens of landslides unleashed as the storm hit the Cordillera mountain range.

Most of the 88 people killed in the typhoon died in landslides in the mountainous gold-mining Cordillera region that includes Itogon.

Ompong (international name: Mangkhut), also dumped torrential rains on the key agricultural areas of northern Luzon, causing crop losses that would likely total more than P13,507,625,000.00. (With reports from Lesley Caminade Vestil)

Read more: Apo-Cemex admits earth-moving equipment worked in Sitio Tagaytay before landslide