Chances of finding survivors in quake-spawned landslides slim—NDRRMC | Inquirer News

Chances of finding survivors in quake-spawned landslides slim—NDRRMC

/ 08:49 PM February 08, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—The 71 people believed buried in two earthquake-triggered landslides in Negros Oriental have “very slim” chances of surviving, according to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Benito Ramos.

“This is the third day. I am still hoping against hope but the chances are very slim,” Ramos said Wednesday afternoon when interviewed by phone from Dumaguete City.

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The landslides trapped at least 29 people in their homes in Barangay Planas in Guihulngan City and 42 others in their homes in Barangay Solongon in La Libertad.

Ramos said the houses were buried under piles of soil.

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But the search and rescue operations led by troops from the Army’s 302nd Brigade would go on “as long as it takes,” he vowed.

The NDRRMC said 26 people have been confirmed killed in the earthquake all from Negros Oriental: 13 in Guihulngan, four in Jimalalud, three in Tayasan, three in La Libertad and one each in Bindoy, Bais and Ayungon.

Meanwhile, at least 52 were reported injured: 40 in Guihulngan and 12 in Jimalalud.

Ramos said nearly all economic activity has come to a halt in towns in Negros Oriental that were hit by Monday’s 6.9 magnitude earthquake.

He said stores in Guihulngan, Ayungon, Jimalalud and La Libertad remain closed due to recurring aftershocks.

“There is no economic activity. There are still aftershocks,” he said.

Due to the frequent aftershocks, Ramos said people were afraid to sleep in their homes and preferred to sleep in open spaces like parks.

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The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has recorded 1,214 aftershocks, of which 69 were felt in the early morning of Wednesday.

Meanwhile the Armed Forces of the Philippines has donated P2 million to purchase emergency food supplies for the earthquake victims.

AFP Chief of Staff Jessie Dellosa said the money would be transferred to the Central Command (Centcom) to purchase bottled water, instant noodles, biscuits and other supplies.

The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has deployed five UH-1H helicopters and an S76 aircraft while the Philippine Navy deployed three ships to Negros Oriental and Cebu to transport relief goods and support ongoing rescue operations.

A PAF C-130 cargo aircraft also brought to Negros Oriental two water purifying units capable of distilling 22,000 liters of water a day. The C-130 aircraft also transported more than 500 boxes of purified drinking water.

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TAGS: Benito Ramos, earthquake-triggered landslides, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), NDRRMC, Negros Oriental
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