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Masara landslide death toll jumps to 71 - Davao de Oro Cong. Gonzaga
Masara landslide death toll jumps to 71 -  Davao de Oro Cong. Gonzaga
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Masara landslide death toll jumps to 71 - Davao de Oro Cong. Gonzaga
by Mary Antalan14 February 2024

The number of individuals killed by the landslide in Brgy. Masara, Maco, Davao de Oro, jumped to 71, as confirmed by Davao de Oro 2nd District Rep. Ruwel Peter Gonzaga on Wednesday, February 14.

Interviewed during DZRH Dos Por Dos, Gonzaga said that the dead bodies retrieved in the ground zero reached 71 as of yesterday, and 17 of which are unidentified bodies.

"Kahapon kasi ang report ay seven lang pero ang sabi kagabi ay 17. Lahat ng patay dadalhin sa punerarya and then doon sila lilinisin para mapigilan ang state of decomposition ng katawan. Sa punerarya, mga katawan na hindi na-identify at may body parts na di rin ma-identify," he said.

Meanwhile, there are 32 survivors recorded and 51 others remain missing.

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Gonzaga said authorities are making their best effort to locate dead bodies in the landslide area.

"May mga testimony kung saan ang probable areas ng mga katawan sa ilalim ng lupa. May K9 dogs din na searching and determining kung saan ang location ng mga patay na katawan. Meron ding detectors from the armed forces na ginagamit din para makita kung nasaaan ang mga patay na katawan sa ilalim ng lupa," he said.

Several families had requested to claim the bodies of their loved ones once identities were confirmed.

The unidentified bodies, including unidentified body parts, were still in funeral homes for the deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA test.

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"Ang proseso, kinukuha ang parte para subject for DNA testing pero matagal. Ang gagawin ay lalagyan ang patay na katawan ng "unclaimed" or "unverified." Silang lahat ay ima-mass burial mamaya," Gonzaga said.

Last February 6, a deadly landslide occurred in the said area which buried homes and two buses of a mining company APEX Mines.

Seven days after the landslide, the Davao de Oro's Provincial Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Office declared the rescue operations as "search and retrieval" operations.

According to Gonzaga, the area had experienced a landslide three times in 2007, and it recurred in 2008, which hit a building and killed 40 individuals.

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