Child rescued days after Davao Oro landslide; deaths climb to 15

By Che Palicte

February 9, 2024, 4:42 pm Updated on February 9, 2024, 6:31 pm

<p><em>(Image from MDRRMO Maco)</em></p>

(Image from MDRRMO Maco)

DAVAO CITY – Local disaster responders rescued a three-year-old girl on Friday morning, four days after a deadly landslide in the Davao de Oro town of Maco.

Local rescuers said Senang Macaste had been trapped inside their home in Brgy. Masara when she was pulled out under the rubble of the landslide that hit on Tuesday evening.

She was declared safe and free from injuries but was immediately sent to a local hospital for a checkup.

Senang is one of the 32 rescued individuals in the three-day search, rescue, and retrieval operations by a team of rescuers from local and national governments and the Philippine Army, according to a Friday bulletin released noontime by the Maco local government.

According to Senang's father, Orlando Malacaste, only he and his other daughter Na Mae, 8, made it alive when the landslide struck.

“My neighbors informed me that Senang was found, and I saw it in the social media. Her sister was able to identify Senang,” he was quoted as saying in the dialect by Newsline Philippines in an interview Friday.

Orlando, who works as a security guard for Apex Mining Co., said he remains optimistic that his wife and her eldest daughter would be found alive.

According to the local disaster response unit, four more bodies were recovered Friday in Masara village, bringing the total deaths to 15 as of noontime.

At least 110 persons remain missing, and their names are still being validated with the Management of the Dead and the Missing Cluster, composed of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

“We have 1,166 families in various evacuation centers in Maco and Mawab towns,” the local government said in a statement.

Vice President Sara Z. Duterte on Thursday visited the evacuation site in Mawab town to check on the situation of the displaced families.

Maco Mayor Arthur Carlos Voltaire Rimando said local rescuers, aided by the Army's 001st Brigade, are conducting continuous operations. 

NDRRMC: Over 1M affected by Mindanao floods

The affected population from the effects of bad weather in Mindanao has climbed to a total of 1,196,672, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said Friday.

The figure is equivalent to 359,133 families in 788 barangays in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, Caraga and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, according to the disaster agency’s latest situation report.

Of this number, around 13,241 families or 49,004 persons are being served in 188 evacuation centers and another 99,611 families or 303,060 are being aided outside.

Reports of 20 deaths, 11 injured and two missing persons are undergoing validation, the NDRRMC added.

A total of 1,25 houses were also damaged in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and Caraga.

Rehab of roads, bridges

Meanwhile, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. vowed to help fast-track the rehabilitation of the damaged road, bridges and other infrastructures in Davao de Oro.

Davao de Oro incurred the most damage in Davao Region, reaching PHP3.6 billion, according to data.

“We will talk to the Department of Public Works and Highways, and we will ensure that it will be funded,” Revilla said in an interview Friday.

Revilla visited the landslides and flood victims and brought relief goods.

Governor Dorothy Gonzaga said Davao de Oro will need PHP2.18 billion for bridge repair and rehabilitation and PHP3.88 billion for the repair and rehabilitation of revetment.

“We also wanted to ask help from the government to hire employees to monitor our trees since our province has a program on tree planting,” she said. (with report from Priam Nepomuceno/PNA)