NAGA CITY, Cebu (UPDATE) - The local government of Naga City has terminated the search for five people still missing after a massive landslide that hit Sitio Sindulan in Barangay Tinaan more than two weeks ago.
The incident management team, headed by Naga City Mayor Kristine Chiong, said authorities had extended the operations upon the request of families of those yet to be found.
But after days of excavation, search crews were not able to retrieve any of the remaining four residents buried in the landslide.
Chiong said that per the advise of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), ground zero was no longer safe for residents and responders.
Some of the responders from the Bureau of Fire Protection from different regions already went home after two weeks of search, rescue and retrieval operations.
Days of heavy rains had triggered the landslide on Sept. 20, burying some 20 mountainside homes and leaving at least 78 dead.
Meanwhile, as part of the healing process, a Mass was celebrated at the landslide site early Saturday morning.
Survivors and bereaved families joined responders in the Mass.
After the Mass, the priest blessed the landslide area while the families offered prayers, and lighted candles for the peaceful rest of their loved ones.