Search con­tin­ues for Moun­tain Prov­ince land­slide vic­tims

The Philippine Star - - NATION - – Vic­tor Mar­tin

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Viz­caya – The Mines and Geo­sciences Bu­reau (MGB) has sent a res­cue team of a min­ing com­pany to help in search and re­trieval op­er­a­tions for vic­tims of a land­slide in Na­tonin, Moun­tain Prov­ince.

Mario Ancheta, MGBCa­gayan Val­ley re­gional di­rec­tor, said Aus­tralian min­ing firm OceanaGold also re­sponded to the call of the Philip­pine Red Cross to pro­vide ad­di­tional tools for the op­er­a­tions.

Au­thor­i­ties clar­i­fied yes­ter­day that 10 per­sons are still miss­ing in the land­slide as only a body part was pulled out from ground zero on Fri­day.

Con­cerned lo­cal gov­ern­ment units took over search and re­trieval op­er­a­tions from po­lice and mil­i­tary per­son­nel who were asked to re­port back to their mother units.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ment ex­ec­u­tives in Na­tonin as well as in Be­sao and Aguinaldo towns in Ifugao agreed to con­tinue us­ing a back­hoe in the op­er­a­tions.

A to­tal of 18 bod­ies, three of them still uniden­ti­fied, have been re­cov­ered from the moun­tain rub­ble.

Day of mourn­ing, cleans­ing rit­ual

Na­tonin Mayor Ma­teo Chiyawan said they are post­pon­ing a post-dis­as­ter day of mourn­ing and indige­nous cleans­ing rit­ual called dao-es, which was orig­i­nally set for to­mor­row.

Chiyawan said res­i­dents asked for the post­pone­ment un­til all the vic­tims are ac­counted for and re­trieval op­er­a­tions are con­cluded.

He said res­cue teams are also scour­ing creeks and rivers in Sitio Ha’rang in Barangay Banawel.

Dur­ing the cleans­ing rit­ual, Chiyawan said res­i­dents would be barred from leav­ing their homes and no out­siders would be al­lowed to en­ter the town.

He said the rit­ual is meant to ward off bad luck.

Mayor Gas­par Chi­la­gan of Aguinaldo, Ifugao is­sued an ex­ec­u­tive or­der declar­ing a week­long mourn­ing to of­fer prayers to the fam­i­lies and rel­a­tives of the vic­tims.

Most of those who re­main miss­ing are res­i­dents of Aguinaldo.

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