A year after relocation: another landslide forces Malaybalay villagers to flee, again

MALAYBALAY CITY (Bukidnon News/12 October) Rescuers from the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center evacuated a total of 183 people from Sitio Panamucan, San Jose, Malaybalay City on October 9, past 3p.m. Tuesday afternoon when heavy rains brought landslide and mudflow to their homes.

Henry Collantes, logistics officer of the CDRRMC, confirmed the rescue up to the following day of a total of 32 families from Purok 14 and 15 in the village.

Collantes said no one was reported hurt but a house was totally damaged and two others partially damaged.

He noted that most of the evacuees were those who evacuated to the present site in October 2011.

Collantes reported that it was very hard for the rescuers to penetrate the area at 5p.m, because there were landslides along the way.

Pat Padua of the Malaybalay City Administrator’s Office posted  this video on youtube.com: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUaC5uOcNdw.

The evacuees were temporarily housed on day time at the Sitio Hall and on night time at the elementary school in nearby sitio, Mabuhay.

On May 25, 2011, the same residents experienced flooding in a nearby portion of the village. They evacuated to a clear and flat area across a creek, which later became their relocation site.

Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri confirmed releasing P25, 000 assistance to about 52 families, which the residents used to buy the land for the relocation site.

Zubiri said they advised the residents then that the relocation site is not safe.

“But they don’t want to vacate the place. They want to be near their farms and animals,” he added.

He noted the difficulty of the city government to relocate the residents because the area has scarce flat points. He added that there are no private titles to buy in the villages because it belonged to the area covered by an ancestral domain claim of the Bukidnon Higaonon Tribal Association (Buhita).

Zubiri said he ordered San Jose village chief Ramon Jacolbe to consult the evacuees if they are willing to go back to their village.

Jacolbe said via telephone only 20 families were left in the evacuation site in Mabuhay as of Friday afternoon. From 32 families on October 9, he added, the evacuees grew to 104 families as of Friday morning.

“Many heeded the call of the CDRRMC to vacate because of the danger,” he added.

But Jacolbe said because of the discomfort in the evacuation site, more than 80 families decided to go home Friday afternoon.

He said most of those who stayed reported to have incurred heavy damages.
– Walter I. Balane, bukidnonnews.net