87 families flee as landslides shut down roads in Negros Oriental town, debris smashes Dumaguete bridges

October 19, 2017 - 10:42 AM
Valencia, Negros Oriental

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 3 – 12:16 p.m.) Landslides triggered by heavy rains since Wednesday shut down roads and sent residents fleeing in at least four villages in the upland town of Valencia, Negros Oriental, on Thursday, October 19, with uprooted trees reaching Dumaguete City, where they destroyed two overflow bridges.

Vicente Omandam, senior manager of the Energy Development Corp.’s Negros Island Geothermal Business, confirmed in a statement that “a series of landslides took place in (Barangays) Puhagan, Pulangbato, Malaunay, and Caidiocan areas in Valencia due to heavy rains since yesterday until this morning.”

Omandam said at least 87 families needed to be evacuated but “no casualties and injuries have been reported though the roads are currently inaccessible to all types of vehicles due to debris from the landslide.”

The evacuees have been sheltered at the Palinpinon Elementary School and two chapels. EDC has provided them with food and water, Omandam said.

Valencia hosts the Palinpinon geothermal power plant.

But Violeto Romano, a resident of Colon Extension in Dumaguete, which is just downhill from Valencia, said huge tree trunks washed down by floodwaters smashed the two overflow bridges.

Residents of Colon, Dumaguete City look at the tree trunks washed down from the landslides in nearby Valencia town. (photo courtesy of Violeto Romano)
The damaged embankments of one of the overflow bridges in Colon, Dumaguete City destroyed by debris washed down from landslide areas in nearby Valencia town. (photo courtesy of Violeto Romano)

Omandam said, adding that EDC’s civil works team “is still assessing the area.”

“We have also mobilized our barangay emergency response team in Valencia to provide us updates,” he added.