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PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 05, 2012


25 dead, 15 injured in Pantukan landslide

by Jeanevive Duron-Abangan

COMPOSTELA VALLEY, Jan. 05 (PIA) -- The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) of Pantukan, Compostela Valley confirmed that 25 were dead, while 15 were injured in the early morning landslide in Sitio Diat Uno, Barangay Napnapan, Pantukan, Compostela Valley Province.

MDRRMC spokesperson Dr. Arnulfo Lantaya said rescue and retrieval operation is on-going with the assistance of the Philippine National Red Cross, the military and groups of small scale miners in the area.

Lantaya refused to confirm the number of missing persons pending a thorough data gathering after the on-going MDRRMC meeting.

Mayor Celso Sarenas this morning convened the MDRRMC, which also gathered local line agencies of the Department of Interior and Local Government, Environment and Natural Resources, and the military.

Lantaya, who serves as the municipal coordinator of the Planning and Development Office, said the municipal government this morning reactivated its crisis management center set up at the town plaza.

He said the municipal government had been warning residents in the area through the barangay local government to “take heed of the warning of the Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau (MGB)” which has declared Sitio Diat Uno and Diat Dos as high risk areas.

Other than Sitio Diat areas, Sitio Boringot of Napnapan is also under high risk watch of MGB, Lantaya said.

“We have been warning them especially after the MGB informed us of its findings. There were even dialogues made,” he said in a phone interview.

Lantaya bared that Mayor Sarenas have called for a meeting/dialogue with members of small scale miners associations on June 14, 2011 and that Sarenas sent out letters on Sept. 19, 2011 to barangay captain of Napnapan and barangays of high risk areas, “reminding them of the findings of MGB.”

Based on MGB data, Davao Region has a total of 402 landslide prone areas. Compostela Valley has the most number with a total of 124; Davao Oriental and Davao del Sur each has 104 landslide prone areas while, Davao del Norte has 40.

Of the 468 flood-prone areas in the Davao Region, Compostela Valley also has the most number with 129. Davao del Norte has 100; Davao del Sur and Davao Oriental, each has 64 flood-prone areas as identified by MGB.

The MGB data shows that of the 56 high risk to landslide areas in Compostela Valley, seven are in Pantukan; 12 in Monkayo where the gold-rush Mt. Diwata is located; 10 in Maragusan; seven in Maco; six in New Bataan; two each in Nabunturan, Mawab and Compostela towns.

Compostela Valley Provincial Gov. Arturo T. Uy has already declared a no habitation policy in identified landslide high risk areas, majority of which are small scale mining areas.

He made this policy more pronounced after the landslide that happened in April this year in Sitio Panganason, Barangay Kingking also in Pantukan town.

He said the municipal government even enforced evacuation of residents in high risk areas but he presumed that some might have gone back few months after the forced evacuation.

In a television interview, Gov. Uy said he intends to conduct an investigation to determine who can be hold liable for not totally enforcing the no habitation policy. (PIA-11/jeanevive d. abangan)

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