New landslide in mining town; 1 dead

Posted on May 23, 2011

KORONADAL CITY -- Another landslide caused by heavy rains struck a risky mining town in Central Mindanao late last week with at least one fatality, an official said at the weekend.

Mayor Ernesto B. Manuel of T’boli town, in South Cotabato province, said the incident occurred Thursday evening.

A resident died from heart attack while six houses were buried under mud, he said. There were no reports of other casualties from the site.

The resident was identified as Gregorio Mayon, 45, whose residence was among the eight damaged houses. He succumbed after witnessing the incident.

Flooding and landslide were triggered by heavy rains that started early Thursday.

John S. Lorca, provincial disaster coordinator, said over the radio at the weekend that the province is already assessing the extent of damage to agricultural production.

The provincial government has extended assistance to affected families, while assessing the impact of the flood and landslide on the Minahang Bayan (mining village) in T’boli.

The recent landslide was the third of such calamities in Barangay Kematu in less than two months.

On March 30, four miners were killed and dozens of families were displaced after a landslide swept villages even as mining tunnels caved in.

The provincial government has recently declared the permanent closure of five of the more than 130 mining tunnels in Kematu after failing to pass safety standards.

Mr. Manuel said affected families and adjacent communities have been advised to evacuate immediately given the possible recurrence of landslide with continuous rains.

The weather bureau yesterday said tropical storm Chedeng, with winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 100 kph, is seen moving west-northwest at 11 kph.

It has been tracked near Northern Mindanao. -- LOP