Benguet families may end up in ‘tent city’
ITOGON, BENGUET—Families displaced by landslides, including the massive erosion at Barangay Ucab, in this mining town were told on Thursday to leave their temporary shelters but not to return to their villages.
Mayor Victor Palangdan told a briefing on Wednesday, the fifth day of rescue efforts here, that the families’ only recourse was to stay in tents at abandoned mine sites.
The displaced families have been staying at Alejo Pacalso Memorial National High School, which is scheduled to resume classes on Sept. 24.
Palangdan and provincial officials told the families that their houses at Sitio Firstgate in Ucab and Sitio Luneta at Barangay Loacan were in areas that had been declared as “geographically hazardous” by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
They were given until Sunday to look for other places to stay.
Of the 418 families rendered homeless by landslides here, only 18 opted to relocate to Ifugao province, Palangdan said.
He said the families from Ucab and Loacan could join other residents who were either driven away from areas declared as danger zones or lived in a no-mining zone before 2007.
Roads to Kabayan in Benguet province, were opened on Thursday, allowing the delivery of relief goods to the town, which had been isolated for days by landslides triggered by Typhoon “Ompong,” said Kabayan Mayor Gideon Todiano.
Kabayan recorded a fatality, Elma Liwan, who was killed in a landslide as she was digging a canal to divert runoff rainwater in Barangay Bashoy. —KARLSTON LAPNITEN AND KIMBERLIE QUITASOL
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