Cebu landslide death toll reaches 40, as 39 remain missing

Annie Perez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2018 09:53 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2018 12:04 AM

Forty bodies have been recovered from the rubble in Naga City, Cebu, the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas said in an updated report Saturday night.

As of 11 p.m., 39 persons remain missing while 15 were reported to be injured.

Five bodies were found on Saturday night as search and rescue operations resumed: One male with his missing head, another male, one adult female, and two female children.

Three bodies were found Saturday night as rescue operations resumed. ABS-CBN News

Search and rescue operations were suspended earlier because of intermittent rains in the city but responders remain on standby.

Incident commander Baltazar Tribunalo, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) in Cebu, said there are still signs of life under the rubble.

He explained that their operations remain slow “but steady” because of the movement of the soil that is still soft from the rain. 

“We want to maintain that the lives inside would still have space to breathe,” Tribunalo said.

A map from the University of the Philippines Cebu Center for Environmental Informatics (UPCEI) plotting the coordinates of the houses. Handout

As for their search and rescue strategy, they have secured a map from the University of the Philippines Cebu Center for Environmental Informatics (UPCEI) plotting the coordinates of the houses. 

“This will not make the operation blind,” said Enzo Campomanes, one of the staff of the UPCEI. 

The responders will be divided into the areas where the coordinates are plotted. They also have two life detectors flown in from the national office of the Office of Civil Defense, which will detect heartbeat of the survivors.

Naga City DRRMO head Junjie Cruz said they have forced the evacuation of all residents within the 1-kilometer radius of the landslide site. 

They are looking into a possible relocation at Sitio Tapon, Tinaan. All those who are responding, including media, are required to bring a hard hat and an N95 mask.

As for their search and rescue strategy, they have secured a map from the University of the Philippines Cebu Center for Environmental Informatics (UPCEI) plotting the coordinates of the houses. 

“This will not make the operation blind,” said Enzo Campomanes, one of the staff of the UPCEI. 

The responders will be divided into the areas where the coordinates are plotted. They also have two life detectors flown in from the national office of the Office of Civil Defense, which will detect heartbeat of the survivors.

Naga City DRRMO head Junjie Cruz said they have forced the evacuation of all residents within the 1-kilometer radius of the landslide site. 

They are looking into a possible relocation at Sitio Tapon, Tinaan. All those who are responding, including media, are required to bring a hard hat and an N95 mask.