Buried DPWH building stood in 'heavy landslide' prone village

Patrick Quintos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 31 2018 07:02 PM | Updated as of Feb 24 2020 05:55 PM

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MANILA - The landslide-hit Department of Public Works and Highways building in Mountain Province was standing in a "heavy landslide" prone area, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Wednesday. 

NDRRMC director for operations Edgar Posadas said the whole town of Natonin, where the building was located, was listed as heavily prone to landslides in the official hazard map of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau. 

The disaster official said they have exhausted all efforts to warn communities in landslide prone areas but it becomes difficult in the Cordilleras because practically the whole region is marked red or landslide prone.

"Basically kung babalikan natin almost the whole of Cordillera is actually red kung titingnan mo sa hazard map. But this one, for purposes of forecasting, 'yung Natonin is listed as 'heavily prone to landslides' o HL," he told reporters.

The NDRRMC has monitored at least 6 landslides in country's north during the onslaught of Typhoon Rosita. Local officials have reported 8 bodies have been pulled out of the buried DPWH building, while 20 more remain missing.

"We will look at this definitely. This will be a template again. Very dynamic kasi ang DRR e. There are a lot of surprises really. Kung sa pagpapabaya, I would like to believe na wala namang ganun," Posadas said. 

Rosita has already weakened on Wednesday morning but it continues to bring rains over the western portion of Northern and Central Luzon, PAGASA said. All cyclone signals have also been lifted as the storm makes its way out of the country's waters.

The latest NDRRMC data showed at least 24,447 persons who fled their homes during the onslaught of Rosita, remain in different evacuation centers in the regions of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and in the Cordilleras.