- Posted February 26, 2013 by
Mati City, Philippines
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Three dead in Mati landslide, road now passable
By Ben O. Tesiorna
A huge landslide struck and covered part of the national highway in Mati City, Davao Oriental along with an owner-type jeep on Tuesday afternoon. Seven were earlier feared to have been buried alive but after the clearing of the road around 12:50 Wednesday morning, only three were confirmed to have died from the incident.
Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat said the incident happened at 12:50 afternoon of Tuesday, February 26, in Tagabakid village just as the motor vehicle was passing thru the area coming from Tarragona town.
Three of the fatalities were identified as Arnel Sucnaan, 35 years old; Arturo Sucnaan, 57; and Leonora Mabandos.
It was a bright sunny day in Mati on Tuesday but the area had been experiencing heavy rain the past days that could have triggered the landslide.
Mayor Rabat said Tagabakid had been identified as extremely high risk area and that residents in the area have already been tagged and validated for relocation by the City Government.
Rabat readily ordered the dispatch of heavy equipments to the landslide area for search and rescue and clearing operation.
Mati City Administrator Richard Villacorte said that about 100 meters of the national highway in Sitio Colilisi was covered by the landslide. He said on Tuesday that they are working overnight to clear the road and expects the same to be passable by Wednesday morning.
True enough, Villacorte said the national highway was declared by the authorities passable twelve hours after the landslide struck. Unconfirmed reports earlier showed that aside from the jeep, two other motorcycles were hit by the landslide, but Villacorte said the rescuers never found the two motorcycles and their supposed passengers.
"So the official death toll is only three," he said in a telephone interview early morning Wednesday. BOT