Landslides in Kitaotao, Quezon villages injure 5; blocks Bukidnon-Davao highway

In this version: DPWH clarifies location of two major landslides:   Maloos, Brgy. Kahusayan, Kitaotao (not Brgy. Sinuda as they earlier reported) AND Minalong,  Brgy. Kipolot, Quezon (not as I reported to have belonged to Brgy. Palacapao)

MALAYBALAY CITY – Five persons were injured after a series of landslides in the villages of Maloos, Brgy. Kahusayan, Kitaotao town and Minalong, Brgy. Kipolot, Quezon town starting 8p.m. Saturday, the Philippine Red Cross Bukidnon chapter reported.

The two areas were among the hardest hit as vehicles could no longer pass since past 8p.m. Saturday.

Engr. Leonardo Paulican, DPWH district engineer for Bukidnon 2, told Bukidnon News via telephone as of 8p.m. Sunday light vehicles could already pass through the road section that was closed since last night in Maloos village.

But he said workers continue to clear the road for buses and other heavy vehicles. He said a prime mover, which had difficulty to pass last night has blocked the way. Paulican said the mountain collapsed in the area between Minalong, Kipolot and Maloos, a stretch of about seven kilometers. He said three to five meters deep soil ranging from 80 to 100 meters long have covered the road although he clarified that only portions of the stretch were covered.

He said witnesses in the area attribute the collapse to a heavy downpour brought by what they believe as a cyclone. He said workers have continued work in the site to clear the road for all vehicles tonight.

The Rural Transit of Mindanao, Inc. (RTMI) suspended their Cagayan de Oro to Davao City trips since last night,  Lolito Colon, an RTMI dispatcher at the Malaybalay City Integrated Bus Terminal, told Bukidnon News as of 5p.m.  No advice had been given yet as to when the bus firm will resume trips along the Bukidnon Davao Highway.

Jocelyn Daroy, PRC Bukidnon chapter head, told Bukidnon News Sunday afternoon the injuries were from Maluos village were two houses fell with the debris in one of two major landslide sites among seven reported as of Sunday morning.

Daroy identified two of the victims as husband and wife Tomas and Honoria Pancasala, owner of one of the two houses. She reported that the other injured persons were identified as the couple’s two nephews and a grandchild. Bukidnon News is yet to get the names of the victims.

Kitaotao mayor Rudito Rafisura said via telephone the victims have been brought to the Bukidnon Provincial Hospital in nearby Kibawe town. He said Mrs. Pancasala sustained the most serious injury but he could not specify.

Rafisura said the Maloos portion of the Bukidnon – Davao highway still cannot be passed as of Sunday even if the DPWH second engineering district fast tracked road repair operations.

Drivers of RTMI busses who were supposed to ply Davao City Sunday instead traveled shorter routes as RTMI suspended trips to Davao.

One of them told Bukidnon News at the terminal that about five kilometers of the highway had been affected. He added that passengers of at least two RTMI busses were stranded in the site overnight. The lack of mobile phone signal in the area made it even more difficult, he added.

“The passengers were able to pass by walking the stretch only by lunch time Sunday,” he added. Paulican said passengers were not able to cross because in most areas mud was knee-deep. (Walter I. Balane)


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