Itogon rescue ends; 3 still missing
LA TRINIDAD, Benguet — Retrieval operations at a village in Itogon town, where a massive landslide two weeks ago buried more than 60 people, most of them pocket miners, were terminated on Sunday afternoon, with three people still missing.
Brig. Gen. Leopoldo Imbang, the Army commander overseeing the operations, declared an end to the search “after exhausting all efforts,” and directed volunteers and uniformed personnel involved in the pick-and-shovel work to withdraw from Sitio 070 at Barangay Ucab in Itogon.
Eroded by ‘Ompong’
An emergency response team deployed by Philex Mining Corp., whose excavators proved essential in the retrieval operations, also pulled out men and equipment.
The area eroded after Typhoon “Ompong” tore through the mining town.
Mayor Victorio Palangdan on Monday said rescuers also inspected tunnels to check for survivors and recovered bodies inside or near the mouth of an abandoned portal owned by a mining company.
Landslides triggered by Ompong left 92 fatalities in Itogon, according to Palangdan.
He said DNA samples would be taken from body parts retrieved from the landslide area in Ucab to see if they matched those of relatives of the three missing persons.
On Saturday, the National Housing Authority turned over P10 million to the Itogon government. Palangdan said the money would be used to buy sand, cement, steel and wood that would be distributed to beneficiaries. —Karlston Lapniten
Inquirer calls for support for the victims of typhoon Ompong
Responding to appeals for help, the Philippine Daily Inquirer is extending its relief to victims of the recent typhoon Ompong.
Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860 and Swift Code: BNORPHMM.
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