Dozens of families flee from Compostela Valley landslide | Inquirer News

Dozens of families flee from Compostela Valley landslide

/ 01:57 PM January 28, 2013

TAGUM CITY, Davao del Norte, Philippines – Dozens of families fled from their homes after a landslide hit a village in Maco, Compostela Valley on Sunday, authorities on Monday said.

Several houses were also washed away as a river in Mainit village “changed course” following the landslide past 7 p.m.,  according to Abel Dagoon, village chief.

At least 86 families were evacuated following the landslide, Senior Supt. Camilo Cascolan, Compostela Valley police chief, said.


The landslide over the weekend was the latest to hit a village still haunted by memories of a similar event, but of much bigger scale, almost six years ago. At least 20 people, including the former village chief of Masara and several members of his family, were killed in a series of landslides on Sept. 5-6, 2008.


A heavy downpour early Sunday evening may have caused a portion of a hill in Zone 1 to give way, dumping large volume of rocks and earth to a river there, virtually diverting its course and flooding the community, said Dagoon.

“A crack (found after the 2008 landslide) might have collapsed already, causing this. We are still assessing the extent of damage (of properties). Fortunately, no one was hurt,” Dagoon told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by mobile phone.

He said a family composed of at least five people was briefly trapped after the swollen river changed course and flooded the community. They were eventually rescued.

The landslide on Sunday “dammed” the river, causing it to swell and flood the community, Raul Villocino, provincial disaster officer, said on Monday.

Villocino said Mainit was just across Masara, the village hit by the 2008 landslides.

Local officials had declared Masara a no-habitation area following the killer avalanches, but several former residents have reportedly returned and resettled there.


Dagoon said residents were evacuated early Sunday night as the downpour began, spending the night at the village hall, the village elementary school and at a chapel.

Compounding the residents’ problem was the lack of electricity in the area after last month’s typhoon had knocked out power lines there, the village official said.

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TAGS: disaster, Landslide

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