Landslide-prone area in Albay
ALBAY, Philippines – The Albay Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) recorded a number of landslides in the aftermath of tropical depression Usman and the onset of a low-pressure area over the weekend.
In Barangay Sugod in the municipality of Tiwi, three persons were killed in a landslide that damaged their home.
Witnesses recalled that the victims, a family of three, were about to evacuate the house when the incident happened.
“Pagkatapos pa lang lang daw kumain tapos papaalis na kasi kukuha nalang ng gamit,” said Aljohn Bragais, one of the witnesses.
According to the Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director-5 Claudio Yucut, survivors in the area said they did not expect a landslide would occur in their area.
But the official said they have been reminding the residents to leave and evacuate to safety even prior to the weather system.
But since the house of the victims has been there for three decades, they became complacent. It was too late for them to evacuate.
“Hindi inasahan ng mga tao dito na lalakas ang ulan dahil nag-kumpiyansa sila na lifted na ang tropical depression. Mahina lang naman ang tropical cyclone warning signal,” the official said.
Some of the volunteers were injured during the retrieval operations for the three victims.
“Nakuha ang victim dyan masusurvive sana kaso habang hinuhukay nila nag-landslide ulit ang volunteer rescuer na-injured,” recalled Tiwi, Albay Kagawad Cristeto Cuati Jr.
Aside from Barangay Sugod, nine more casualties were recorded in other parts of the municipality due to landslide.
A family was also killed in Barangay San Francisco in Legaspi City on Saturday after a wall collapsed into their house.
The victims were identified as Mauro Alegre (26); Mia Lorete (20); and Marco Alegre (3).
According to the mother of the victims who survived the incident, it was midnight when the wall collapsed.
“Ang bilis-bilis ng pangyayari nang makita ko wala na talaga sila. Bumagsak na iyong lupa nadaganan na yung tatlo,” Aling Lina said.
Aling Lina is calling for financial assistance from the local government following the incident.
“Lahat ng gamit namin ay ubos pati mga damit wala na. Kami pati mga gamit sa bahay wala na hindi ko alam pagkatapos nito saan kami tutuloy,” she lamented.
The entire province of Albay is now under a state of calamity.
The local government vows to provide the needs of the residents affected by the weather disturbances. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)