On Friday( Nov.9), Search and Retrieval Operation Head Brigadier General Leopoldo Imbang Jr. with Incident Commander Lt. Col. Narciso Nabulneg Jr. , turned over the SRR operations formally to the LGUs of Mountain Province and Natonin thru Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan and Mayor Mateo Chiyawan as chairman of the provincial and municipal risk reduction and management council, respectively .
Thru the guidance of Office of Civil Defense Cordillera Regional Director Ruben Carandang, the Incident Command Post decided to terminate the search and retrieval under the national and regional levesl effective 6:00 pm on Thursday (Nov.8) following the post assessment and evaluation of all the SRR groups in the area.
Imbang emphasized that “the national contingents will only be temporarily leaving the site” assuring that they will be supporting the continuous operation and on call if needed.
At least 1000 responders and rescuers coming from the different government and law enforcement agencies, private groups and organizations as well as other volunteers from the nearby regions of Region 1, 2, 3 and other areas came to help in the SRR operations in Natonin since Oct. 31.
A massive landslide hit the buildings of the DPWH Mountain Province Second Engineering District where several laborers and residents took shelter at around 4PM on Oct. 30 during the height of typhoon Rosita. Part of the buildings were buried in the land erosion while others were washed out to the nearby creek.
At least 30 individuals were reported as casualties in the incident with 12 still missing.
Chiyawan said they will continue the SRR operations until they locate the remaining missing individuals. He reported that the SRR operations has not retrieved bodies from Tuesday to Thursday but fortunately on Friday, a body was recovered at least one kilometer away from ground zero. There have been 18 bodies recovered from the ground zero to the nearby water bodies in lower Natonin to Paracelis.
Mountain Province PDRRMO Head lawyer Edward Chumawar said that the SRR operation will now concentrate on the organic personnel of the LDRRMCs composed of the local police, Bureau of Fire Protection and other member agencies. Joining them are LDRRMCs and volunteers from the nearby municipalities of Mayoyao and Aguinaldo in Ifugao; Paracelis, Besao, Bauko and Tadian in Mountain Province and Kalinga province and small scale miners of Itogon, Benguet.
Meanwhile, in his visit to the ground zero last week, OCD Administrator Usec. Ricardo Jalad said that the efforts of the local SRR operations will be supported and guided by the OCD including logistics and other needs. (JDP/ RMC- PIA CAR)