AT least 15 persons were confirmed dead, nine wounded and 64 others were missing when a portion of a mountain eroded and covered at least 24 residential houses due to heavy rains yesterday morning in City of Naga, Cebu.
This was based on the update issued yesterday by Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Region 7 Director Concepcion R. Ornopia as of 12 p.m.
On the part of the Philippine National Police(PNP) Chief Inspector Roderick Ylan Gonzales, Chief of Police of Naga City, identified four of the fatalities as Beatrice Hope Chavez, 4; Olivia Meneses Moral, 63; Abel Lobiano, 40, and Romeo Jabonilia, 40.
Taken to the nearest hospital for treatment were Rose Ann Lobiano, 40 ; Christopher Cemeller, 44; Nestor Capoy, 52 and Junalyn Siton, 16.
The incident occurred at around 6 a.m. at Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tina-an, Naga City, Cebu.
The victims were resting in their house when the landslide occurred.
The report said due to heavy rains part of the mountains of Sitio Sindulan were eroded and completely covered more or less 24 houses in the area.
Occupants of these houses were trapped inside.
As of press time, rescue operation was still ongoing when the supervision of Councilor Junjie Cruz, chairman of City of Naga Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (DRRMO) and other government officials.
Meanwhile, APO Laud and Quarry Corp. (ALQC) said its has immediately mobilized a search and rescue team together with the local government and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Region 7.
ALQC added they are all working together to ensure safety of those in the area. The rescue team is doing everything to account for all families and individuals in Barangay Sindulan.
ALQC, the City of Naga and MGB have been closely monitoring the area since last month when it first received reports of appearance of cracks and fissures.
Last month a team of MGB geologists visited the site and reported that the cracks and fissures were a natural phenomenon.
On Wednesday ALQC was alerted with another report of visible and larger cracks. Immediately, ALQC requested MGB 7 to visit the site, where they reaffirmed that the cracks were natural in nature. Nevertheless, families evacuated the area with the support of LGU and ALQC.
The areas where the landslide occurred, namely Sitio Tagaytay is a property where ALQC has mining rights but has no quarry operations. ALQC also does not have any mining operations in Sindulan, which is another landslide area.
Currently all efforts are geared towards rescuing families and individuals in the area.