Iligan landslide buries family’s house; parents survive, 5 young children did not

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 14 November) – Continuous heavy rains in the past few days triggered a landslide at around 5:30 a.m. Sunday in Iligan City,  burying an entire family of seven.  The parents survived but their five children, the youngest at seven months and the eldest at 8, did not.

Police Major Zandrex Pamolong, spokesperson of the Iligan City Police Office said rescuers used a backhoe to get to the buried house in Purok 2, Tamparak, Baragngay Mandulog in Iligan City and managed to save the  parents Shiela Mae Baroro, 26 and construction worker Jissie Barulan, 29, but did not reach the children in time.

The children were identified as CJ Barulan, 8; Kent, 6; Xian, 4; Trishamae, 3; and Shemabel, seven months old.

Rescuers use a backhoe to search for the family of seven buried by the landslide early Sunday morning, 14 November 2021. The parents survived but the children did not. Photo supplied by Iligan City Police Office

Pamolong said the rescuers recovered their bodies and rushed them to the Iligan Sanitarium Hospital and Gregorio T. Lluch Memorial Hospital where they were declared dead.

Police Staff Sergeant Dionirel Cutanda said that when they arrived at the scene at around 6 a.m. on Sunday, they found the semi-concrete house of Barulan beside a hill buried under tons of sludge and debris.

A police investigator asks Shiela Mae Baroro, who survived the landslide in Iligan City early Sunday morning, 14 November 2021. She and her husband survived but their five young children did not. Photo supplied by the Iligan City Police Office

“We used everything we can find to dig into the mud but only the parents were able to survive. The children did not,” Cutanda said.

Cutanda said residents in the village reported that several days of rains had loosened the soil of the surrounding hills. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)