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Last Updated: Friday, 17 February 2006, 11:19 GMT
Area's villagers left in fear
landslide in Guinsaugon
After an entire village was feared buried by a major landslide in the Philippines, the BBC News website spoke to people from a nearby village about conditions there.

Mrs Napivibad Ocba, 66, said that people in her village, Himbangan - about 15 minutes drive from the scene of Friday's landslide - feared more landslides in the area.

"My whole family is huddled in our home, afraid. My village is close to the sea at the foot of the mountain. We could be trapped between a landslide and a flood.

"We have had floods here before. It has been raining heavily and if the sea rises, the whole place could go under water," she said.

Nowhere to run

She said that an earthquake had shaken the area on Friday morning.

"All we could hear were people running around and screaming. There was panic. They said that a mudslide had covered the village of Guinsaugon."

Her daughter, Joy Ocba, who came down from a village higher up in the mountain, said that many roads had been blocked.

"There is nowhere for us to run. The only way out of the area is to be rescued by boat from the sea. Land transportation is very limited because it has been raining.

"We are scared because it has been clouding up. If it rains, there might be another mudslide. We're afraid that water and mud will gush down and wash us away."

Vulnerable village

Mrs Ocba's other daughter, Eva Gourley, who is now in the UK, described the vulnerability of Guinsaugon village.

"It sits higher up in the mountain lowlands, away from the sea but it is surrounded by many rivers. The village gets flooded frequently because the rivers overflow when it rains.

"The homes are not strong. They are made from stilt, wood, bamboo and Nipa [a palm used for thatching roofs]. The place is very vulnerable to heavy rains and earthquake.

"Guinsaugon village is not level, because it is such a mountainous area. The mountain, which rose just above the village, must have collapsed onto it."

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