Landslides block highway in Southern Leyte

TACLOBAN, Philippines - Landslides triggered by rain brought by tropical storm Quinta shut down a highway in Southern Leyte on Wednesday morning, December 26, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Eastern Visayas said.

No casualties, injuries or damages have been reported so far.

The first landslide occured at 4 am along the Kahupian-Sogod near Brgy Kahupian in Sogod town, according to the OCD.

At around 9.30 am, local officials received another report of another landslide along the same road near Bgy Pancho Villa.

Officials rerouted the traffic onto the Abuyog-Silago and Baybay-Bato-Sogod-Libagon roads, and local police responded to the incident to provide security and assistance to motorists.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has started removing debris from the road.

Another landslide was reported on Tuesday near Bgy San Isidro, MacArthur in Eastern Samar.

"We have many low-lying areas and residential areas in high, steep mountains. That's what we are monitoring. We are thankful that based on the initial report, no person was harmed," OCT acting regional director Rey Gozon told Rappler.

Most of the municipalities in the region are vulnerable to flooding and landslides, Gozon said.

Residents are now better prepared for storms after the deadly 2006 landslide that killed more than 1,000 people and caused massive damage in Southern Leyte.

Quinta (international codename: Wukong) made landfall around midnight near Abuyong, Leyte. - Rappler.com