Army (Eastern Mindanao Command) photos released to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner show some damaged bridges in Compostela Valley province.
DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 19, 2014) – A landslide on Sunday cut off the highway linking several towns in Surigao del Sur province in southern Philippines, the army said.
Capt. Alberto Caber, a spokesman for the Eastern Mindanao Command, said heavy rains the past days softened the soil and eventually eroded causing a massive landslide in Lanuza town. "Army troops were sent to the area to help the Public Works (department) to clear the highway and assist in the evacuation of residents near the area," he told the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
He said the highway is impassable.
Caber said typhoon 'Lingling’ (Philippine code name: Agaton) has already forced hundreds of people from coastal villages in Cortes town and Tandag City in Surigao del Sur to evacuate to safer areas due to danger posed by storm surges.
He said 27 people had died from the typhoon with one more missing and 28 others injured. The typhoon submerged many areas and caused flash floods that affected over 51,000 families in 257 villages in 53 towns in Eastern Mindanao alone.
He said 20 bridges were either damaged or destroyed by the typhoon - 15 in Davao Oriental; three in Compostela Valley and two in Agusan del Sur.
A damaged concrete bridge linking Lanao del Norte to Western Mindanao is also hampering the flow of trade in the region and repair could take weeks, probably months before a new bridge is erected.
A huge part of the bridge in the village of Napo in Linamon town was broken due to continuous rains and all land travels are impossible. Travellers now have to walk through a muddy and rough terrain before they can take a boat that would bring them to the other side of the village.
Cargoes from provincial buses were either returned to their owners or carried by laborers down to the river and transferred to boats that would also bring them to the other side of the village where they are loaded to buses.
“It was really difficult now because the bridge is broken. There is no way to cross the bridge, but through the river down below where a fleet of small wooden boats now operate. We still don’t know how long this would be over,” one security guard at the passenger terminal of the Rural Transit Mindanao said.
Traders are now forced to use courier firms to send cargoes from Cagayan de Oro City to Zamboanga City. The Department of Public Works and Highways said it is already working on the damage bridge. Other bridges in Mindanao were also damaged by the rains.
Just late last year, super typhoon Haiyan left a trail of destruction and deaths in central Philippines and up to now, tens of thousands of survivors are still in evacuation areas, living in tents and bunkhouses.(Mindanao Examiner)