29 mountain climbers rescued in Pinatubo
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—At least 29 mountaineers who lost their way en route to the crater-lake of Mt. Pinatubo through a trail in Porac town in Pampanga province, were rescued on Monday afternoon, almost a day after their ascent on Sunday, officials said.
Angie Blanco, provincial disaster risk reduction and management council (PDRRMC) chief in Pampanga, said some of the mountaineers were hurt and taken to Porac District Hospital.
Marc Sarmiento, PDRRMC administrative staff, said the trekkers, reportedly members of Climbers Philippines, hiked toward the view deck but traversed instead Sitio Pidpid, Barangay Sapang Uwak, a forested area near the boundary of San Marcelino town in Zambales province.
Two of the members got lost and the search by the bigger group set them off track, he said.
Blanco said the police and the Porac PDRRMC backed up the search at 4 a.m. that began when one Jerry Guiao, said to be the trek’s coordinator, managed to relay an alert for help to a town official at 11 p.m. on Sunday.
Mayor Condralito de la Cruz, in turn, fielded a helicopter for the search on Monday. But the team on board the helicopter said they could not locate the group at the view deck and thought that they descended the mountain to meet up with the rescue team.
The search team on ground hiked for more than eight hours to get to the site where the group stationed itself.
Nigel Lontoc, assistant regional director of the Office of Civil Defense in Central Luzon, said the group sought help possibly because they ran out of water and food.
“I think the supplies that they brought were good for only two days,” he said. Tonette Orejas and Justine Dizon, Inquirer Central Luzon