Leyte Landslide

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SAINT BERNARD, Leyte, Philippines -- In a matter of seconds, the homes and families of the central Philippine village of Guinsaugon were wiped out, buried under a mountain of soil and rock.

Now survivors must come to grips with both a painful past and an uncertain future.

Around 2,000 people lived in Guinsaugon, near the town of Saint Bernard in the central island of Leyte, before a landslide triggered by two weeks of heavy rain wiped the village from the map on Friday.

More than 200 of Guinsaugon's children were in the elementary school when the landslide hit and were buried along with the rest of the village. Now, only a handful of very small children can be seen among the survivors.

Photo: Reuters Foundation AlertNet

Series of unfortunate events...
The tragedy happened first in October 1991, when flashfloods wiped out around 4,000 residents of numerous barangay in Ormoc, Leyte. Twelve years later in 2003 the tragedy is back, with a with landslides killing more than 200 people in Southern Leyte, the same province where this devastating mega-landslide happened (2006) 15 years later after the first tragedy.

Ingredients for Disaster...
First, the volcanic rocks or “pyroclastic materials” on the mountainous slopes were not “consolidated,” meaning, they were not hard enough.
Second, as a result of weathering, the rocks formed a thick soil cover.
Third, La Niña came, softening the soil cover, which had already been rendered unstable by the fault line and the previous rainfall.
Fourth (my point of view) Lack of Environmental Awareness and Responsibility on both people and the Government.

Combine it all and the rest is History!

People gather near the landslide area waiting for news on their relatives Photo: AP & Yahoo

The mountain face Photo: Reuters

Off the landscape Photo: Reuters

Hope Floats and Fades..
Hopes of a miracle had focused on the school amid unconfirmed reports that survivors there sent cell phone text messages to relatives shortly after a mountainside collapsed.

Relief :Anthony Enso, 23, embraces son Anthony Jr, one, who was rescued from the mudslides. His wife is still missing. Photo: Reuters

After a conflicting reports of 50 estimated survivors (feb.20) rescued after a signs of life were detected by the rescuers equipment and came to be untrue hope fades among the people who are waiting for their love ones. The buzz that fed a sense of hope was gone.

Philippine army soldiers dig in continued search and rescue efforts. Photo: AP & Yahoo

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