Hopes fade for survivors in landslide-hit DPWH building

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2018 02:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 16 2019 12:23 PM

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MANILA - It will take more than a miracle to pull out another survivor from mounds of rock and soil that buried a Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) building in Natonin, Mountain Province, its mayor said Sunday. 

A wall of mud slammed into the DPWH building that was still under construction on Tuesday afternoon as typhoon Rosita mauled large swaths of Luzon with fierce winds and heavy rains. 

A lone survivor from the landslide was rescued back in first day of search operations, said Natonin Mayor Mateo Chiyawan. 

"It's more on retrieval already... Offensive na ang amoy galing sa ground zero. It's beyond miracle na for any survivors," he told ANC. 

(The odor at the ground zero is already offensive. It's beyond miracle now for any survivor.) 

Seventeen bodies have been pulled from the landslide, while 13 remain missing, said Chiyawan. 

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 Giant boulders were still pressed on top of the DPWH building, hampering search operations, provincial disaster office head Edward Chumawar, Jr. told DZMM. 

"Iyun ay kailangan pasabugin, durugin muna para ma-penetrate iyung ibang areas," he said. 

(These need to be blasted away and crushed so other areas can be penetrated.) 

State geologists, however, advised against using explosives to crush the boulders as this may trigger fresh landslides, Chiyawan said. 

A fresh batch of rescuers will be sent to the landslide area, he said. 

The Mines and Geosciences Bureau, he added, is also examining the safety of a relocation area where Natonin's landslide-hit residents would be moved. 
 
Rosita also unleashed deadly landslides in Ifugao and Kalinga provinces last week and forced tens of thousands to flee their homes. 

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