A devastating landslide triggered by persistent heavy rain has claimed the lives of at least 10 people, including five children, in a remote mountain village in Monkayo, Davao de Oro province, southern Philippines. The landslide buried a house where residents were engaged in Christian prayers. The incident highlights the severe impact of the ongoing weather-related challenges in the region.
Details of the Incident
The Tragedy Unfolds
Officials, including Ednar Dayanghirang, the regional chief of the government’s Office of Civil Defense, reported that the landslide occurred during a prayer session in the house, leading to the tragic loss of lives. Despite rescue efforts, the toll rose to 10, with two individuals injured and one villager still missing.
Search and rescue operations faced challenges as the search was temporarily halted on Thursday afternoon due to the looming risk of another landslide. However, three additional bodies were discovered on Friday, emphasizing the precarious conditions faced by both rescuers and villagers.
Evacuation and Ongoing Risks
Urgent Evacuation Orders
In response to the immediate threat of further landslides and mudslides, Monkayo Mayor Manuel Zamora issued evacuation orders for residents living near the affected village. The safety measures aim to prevent additional casualties and protect the community from ongoing weather-related risks.
The landslide is part of a broader weather crisis in Davao de Oro and surrounding provinces, where heavy rains have led to flooding, displacing over 36,000 people. The Office of Civil Defense has been actively involved in managing the aftermath of the natural disaster.
Weather Conditions and Future Concerns
The heavy rains responsible for the landslide were triggered by a shear line, where warm and cold air converge. The region is prone to such weather disturbances, with approximately 20 storms and typhoons affecting the Philippine archipelago annually, particularly during the rainy season starting in June.
The Philippines has a history of weather-related calamities, with the devastating Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 leaving a trail of destruction, claiming over 7,300 lives, displacing millions, and causing widespread devastation.