Road linking two Cotabato towns hit by landslide, cleared of debris
KIDAPAWAN CITY — Commuters passing through the President Roxas-Antipas highway in Cotabato province were stranded for more than an hour on Monday morning, following the landslide and rockfall that blocked a portion of the road.
Alfonzo Caluna Jr., maintenance personnel of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) second engineering district, said he was mowing along the side of the highway in Barangay Poblacion around 8:40 a.m. on Monday when he saw a huge rock falling down the ground.
He quickly ran away and took refuge in a shanty at least 10 meters away, where he parked his motorcycle. “I saw a huge rock falling. It was followed by earth and later trees cascading down the highway,” Caluna said.
The landslide and rockfall blocked all traffic of vehicles entering the town of President Roxas and those going to the town of Antipas during Monday’s rush hour.
To fast track the clearing operation, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in President Roxas used their heavy equipment and cleared the highway in less than an hour.
President Roxas town Mayor Jonathan Mahimpit said small landslides also happened in this particular stretch of highway in the previous week because of the torrential rains brought about by the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and intense thunderstorm.
He appealed to commuters to be vigilant and if possible, avoid passing through these areas during heavy downpour for their safety.
The local government has installed a signage to warn vehicles to be alert against possible rockfall and landslides along this particular stretch of the President Roxas-Antipas highway.
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