MGB Exec: Davao de Oro town landslide due to natural causes

By: Luisa Cabato - | February 11,2024 - 06:27 AM

An aerial view of the area following a landslide on Mindanao island, in the village of Maco, Davao de Oro province, Philippines, February 7, 2024.

An aerial view of the area following a landslide on Mindanao island, in the village of Maco, Davao de Oro province, Philippines, February 7, 2024. Eastern Mindanao Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines/Handout via REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines —  The landslide in a Davao de Oro town mining village that left 27 people dead and 100 others missing was due to natural causes, an official from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)  disclosed Saturday.

MGB chief geologist Beverly Brebante cited persistent rains that occurred in the province since late January, terrain slope, fault lines, and soil composition, among others as key factors that led to the tragic incident.

“Natural lang po talaga ang causes [at] ang factors ng ating landslide event,” she said in a press conference.

(The causes [and] the factors of our landslide event are really natural.)

“Wala po talaga [kinalaman ang mining company],” she added, referring to Apex Mining Co. Inc., the gold mining firm operating in Maco town.

([The mining company] didn’t really have anything to do with it.)

Hours after the landslide that happened at 7 p.m. on February 6, Apex Mining issued a statement saying the area where the tragedy took place is outside their mine site. It also said that it has since been closely coordinating with local and national authorities for the search and rescue operations.

Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, however, said a government investigation of Apex’s mining operations should be conducted to determine if the company’s activities, along with the effects of climate change, induced the landslide.

As of Friday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has not imposed any suspension on the operation of Apex Mining. It also noted that the landslide occurred outside the company’s mining area.

Environment Undersecretary Joselin Fragada gave assurance that Apex Mining would be dealt with accordingly should DENR finds it at fault for the incident.


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TAGS: Davao de oro, landslide, MGB, mining

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