19 May 2009

Landslide in Campostela Valley, Philippines: >25 people killed

Posted by Dave Petley

Image of the September 2008 landslide in Campostela Valley that killed >20 people (image from here)

A range of news agencies, including Al Jazeera and AFP, are reporting that there was a major landslide in Campostela Valley in the Philippines yesterday. Regular readers of this blog will be fairly familiar with this location, which appears to have a major fatal landslide every few months.

The event yesterday occurred in barangay Napnapan, Pantukan town in Campostela Valley province (see map below). The approximate coordinates are 7.15N 125.95E. I will try to pin down the location in more detail.

Campostela Valley has a large number of fatal landslides largely because the combination of tropical soils, intense rainfall events and unregulated mining is a very toxic mix. This slide is reported to have killed 26 people and left a further 19 missing (although I wouldn’t be surprised if this latter number is an over-estimate – it often is). The scenario of the slide is a little confused – some reports suggest that it buried 20 houses in a shanty town, whilst others say that the victims were resting in a bunkhouse. The trigger appears to have been heavy rainfall.

I’ll post an update when more info is available.