At least 78 dead in Itogon, Benguet, after Typhoon Ompong

MANILA, Philippines – Police on Tuesday, September 25, said at least 78 people died in Itogon, Benguet, due to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), with most of them killed by a huge landslide that occurred in Barangay Ucab's Level 070.

Itogon police chief Senior Inspector Heherson Zambale said that of the 78 fatalities in Itogon, 50 were from Level 070. At least 33 people in Itogon are also missing, 27 of whom are from Level 070.

These figures are as of 8 am on Tuesday.

A miners' bunkhouse at Level 070 was buried by a huge landslide that occurred on September 15 – the day Ompong made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan, and battered parts of northern Luzon.

Zambale said miners and their families refused to evacuate ahead of Ompong's landfall, despite warnings from police.

Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan had blamed Benguet Corporation for allowing these families to live near the company's Antamok mining area – an area vulnerable to landslides.

He later urged the company to provide a relocation site for evacuees, and a burial site for the dead. –