Search for survivors in Valencia landslide ends

SITIO HANGARON, Lumbayao, Valencia City (MindaNews/7 July) – The search for possible survivors in the recent landslides here that killed three people was officially stopped today by Mayor Leandro Jose Catarata.

The landslides in this village started Sunday evening with the downpour. More landslides occurred in the same spot until Monday, injuring motorists travelling between this city and neighboring San Fernando town.

The mayor said they are stopping the retrieval operations on its fourth day because they received no additional reports of missing persons. But he urged the public that if they know of someone who could have been missing because of the landslide, then they should inform the city government right away.

The official report of the City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) listed only three victims buried in the landslide caused by heavy rains. They were identified as Sheryl Arnosa-Sadsad of Musuan, Maramag; and Marites Lagunay and her mother Segundina, of Medina, Misamis Oriental.

Rico Ocho, the Health Emergency Management Services of the Department of Health, told MindaNews they listed 27 survivors in the landslide, referring to those who may have been injured or those who escaped with nary a scratch.

The Department of Public Works and Highway has also allowed today all vehicles to pass through the affected portion of the highway.

Catarata, however, warned motorists to proceed with caution.

He also hailed the organizations who took part in the search and retrieval operations, and the officials and residents of Lumbayao for their heroism and volunteerism.

The municipal government of San Fernando will be holding a mass at the landslide site on Monday (July 11) morning. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)