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Biga Barangay Captain Pedro Sepada confirmed on Thursday, December 24, that around 400 households would be forced to evacuate as instructed by Toledo City Mayor Marjorie Perales.
“Daghan pa kaayo wala naevacuate kay dili ganahan. Lisud kaayo gud nga Paskong dako,” said Sepada. (A lot of people haven’t been evacuated yet because they don’t want to. It’s very difficult since it’s happening on Christmas.)
The barangay captain added it was unfortunate as affected families will have no choice but to spend Christmas inside the evacuation centers.
According to authorities, Toledo City Mayor Marjorie “Joie” Perales had ordered the evacuation as cracks have been spotted in areas surrounding Carmen Pit. She believes this might pose a danger for locals in Barangay Biga who are living near the site.
It was on Monday, December 21, that Carmen Copper Corporation confirmed a landslide had occurred at around 4:15 pm in Carmen Pit. They issued a statement the following day stating at least 4 workers died and 6 remained missing.
On Wednesday, December 23, MGB-7 Director Arman Malicse said the landslide in Carmen Pit may have been caused by a 15-meter tsunami-like phenomenon in the waters of Biga Pit after the collapse of igneous rocks.
In a phone interview with Rappler, he said, “A tsunami-like-(phenomenon) means that when the landslide material fell into the pit bottom which contains water, the other side of the pool of water splashed like a tsunami.”
As of this writing, search and rescue operations for the 6 missing individuals are still ongoing.
Mayor Perales and the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) are currently meeting to discuss the strategy in ensuring the safety of the residents from Barangay Biga, the barangay closest to Carmen Pit. – Rappler.com