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Philippine storm victims fear tsunami, run towards landslide | WGN Radio 720

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (AP) — Victims of a giant landslide triggered by a storm in a coastal village in the Philippines once devastated by a deadly tsunami, mistakenly thinking a tsunami was coming, ran up the mountain and buried them alive. became. Boulder-laden deluge, officials said on Sunday.

At least 18 bodies, including children, have been exhumed by rescuers in a vast muddy mound covering much of the village of Cuon in southern Maguindanao province, hit hardest by tropical storm Nalge that blew across the northwestern Philippines. I was. early sunday.

Officials fear that another 80 to 100 people, including entire families, may have been buried by deluge or washed away by flash floods in Kusun between Thursday night and early Friday morning. . Separatist guerrillas.

Nalge, which had a vast rain belt, left a trail of destruction in one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, with at least 61 deaths in eight provinces and one city in the Philippine archipelago, including Quon. left.

Populated mainly by the Tedurai, an ethnic minority group, the catastrophe in Kuhn was devastating. Because more than 2,000 villagers have been conducting tsunami preparedness drills every year for decades. But their village was ill-prepared for the dangers that could come from Mount Minandar, which lies in the foothills, according to Sinalimbo.

“When people heard the alarm bells, they ran to the church on the hill and gathered,” Sinarimbo told the Associated Press, citing a villager from Kusun.

“The problem wasn’t the tsunami coming in, it was a lot of water and mud coming down from the mountains,” he said.

The magnitude 8.1 earthquake and tsunami that hit Morro Bay around midnight in August 1976 killed thousands and devastated coastal provinces in one of the worst natural disasters in Philippine history.

Nestled between Morro Bay and the 1,464-foot (446-meter) Minandal Mountain, Kusion was one of the hardest-hit villages in the 1976 catastrophe, and the village never forgot the tragedy. Elderly villagers who survived the tsunami and devastating earthquake told their children nightmarish tales and warned them to prepare.

“Every year we do tsunami drills. Someone was assigned to ring the alarm bells and they designated high ground for people to flee to,” Sinalimbo said. “The villagers were even taught the sound of approaching waves, based on the recollections of tsunami survivors.”

“But there hasn’t been much attention to geohazards on the hillside,” he said.

Bulldozers, backhoes and payloads were brought to Kusun on Saturday, along with more than 100 rescuers from the military, police and volunteers from other states, as the muddy mound was still dangerous. , Survivors could not dig where the church lay beneath the soft, officials said.

The National Disaster Response Agency reported that 22 people were missing in the onslaught of storms in several provinces. Sinalimbo said many of the people missing in Kushiko are not included in the government’s official tally because it is possible that the entire family was buried and there are no members left to provide names and details to authorities. Stated.

Army lieutenant colonel Denis Almorat, who visited the landslide-hit community on Saturday, said the muddy deluge had buried about 60 rural homes in about 5 hectares (12 acres) of the community. He did not make an estimate of the number of villagers who may have been buried, but said the extent of the landslide was “overwhelming” and that the nighttime disaster could have spread rapidly.

The commander of the local forces, Maj. Gen. Roy Garrido, has been ordered to lead the emergency command center and direct the search and recovery operations in Kusik, officials said.

Stormy weather across wide swaths of the country has caused millions of Filipinos to visit relatives’ graves or plan to travel the long weekend for a family reunion on All Saints’ Day in the Philippines. The Coast Guard has come to ban sea travel in dangerously rough waters. predominantly Roman Catholic country.

More than 100 domestic and international flights have been canceled, Manila’s international airport was temporarily closed amid the storm, and sailing in stormy waters was banned by the Coast Guard, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Floods hit many states and cities, trapping some people on their roofs and damaging more than 700 homes. More than 168,000 people have taken refuge in evacuation camps. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. expressed disappointment at the high casualties in a video conference with disaster reduction officials on Saturday.

“I should have done better,” Marcos Jr. said. “We didn’t expect the amount of water to be this high, so we weren’t able to warn people and evacuate them from the oncoming flash flood.”

About 20 typhoons and storms hit the Philippine Islands each year. It is located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire”, an area along most of the Pacific Rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making the country one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. to

https://wgnradio.com/news/international/ap-philippine-storm-victims-feared-tsunami-ran-toward-mudslide/ Philippine storm victims fear tsunami, run towards landslide | WGN Radio 720

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