07 April, 2012
On 17 February 2006 two major landslides buried the village of Guinsaugon
near the town of St. Bernard in Southern Leyte Province in the Philippines. The
landslides followed two w
eeks of heavy rain which has continued, complicating
The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) has reported 128 deaths,
19 people injured and 580 survivors. Of the 2,500 people estimated to be
living in the area, 959 are still missing. The village contained 385 houses,
including an occupied primary school. Only three houses remain.
There are currently seven evacuation centres in the vicinity of St. Bernard
housing approximately 4,211 people with many of these being residents of three
surrounding municipalities that have been evacuated as a precaution. The
Governor of Southern Leyte has announced plans to declare the site of the
landslide a memorial in remembrance of those that have lost their lives.
The search and rescue effort was called off on 24 February. Authorities have reported that there are now sufficient relief supplies in the logistic support chain for the disaster area.
Australian Government assistance
Australia immediately provided $1 million to the Philippines National Red
Cross and other local key relief agencies to assist with the most urgent tasks of
evacuating survivors, setting up shelters and trauma counseling, as well as
meeting the more basic needs of food, clothing and related medical equipment.
The Australian Government also sent a five member engineering team to the area
to begin preliminary assessments of site stability, the extent of structural
damage and provide advice to both the Philippines and Australian Governments.
The AusAID-led team consisted of engineers with expertise in geotechnical and structural engineering and water and sanitation which were identified as a priority for the evacuation centres.
The President of the Philippines National Red Cross Senator Dick Gordon and
Secretary for Defence Cruz have welcomed the engineering mission, and have
expressed their appreciation for Australia's timely and proactive
Australians concerned about family and friends in the region can contact the
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) Consular Emergency Centre on 1300
AusAID continues to closely monitor the situation, including working closely
with Indonesian and donor colleagues.
Australia provides swift response to Philippines landslide
Australia Sends Expert Mission to Help with Philippines Landslide
AusAID country program information
See also: [external websites]
OCHA (United Nations Office for the
Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
Philippines National Red Cross
Last Reviewed: 8 March, 2006