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Philippines mudslide 2006
Main cause was the exceptionally heavy rainfall associated with the La Nuna event
in the western pacific. 200cm of rain fell in 10 days, loading slopes and weakening
Slopes in the region are steep and mudslides and other mass movements occur
frequently. Widespread deforestation during the past 70 years has increased the
The ultimate event that triggered the land slide was a small earthquake measuring
1991, 5000 killed when typhoons triggered several landslides. A similar
event in 2003 killed 133 people. A deadly combination of physical
conditions makes mudslides and landslides a constant threat
heavy and prolonged rainfall from typhoons.
Steep hill slopes comprising deeply weathered volcanic rock.
Extensive faulting and earthquake activity.
Human factors many villages sited at the foot of steep slopes occupy the
run out zone of mudslides and landslides. Rural population densities are high
(208 persons per km2) deforestation also a factor result of rapid
population growth and demand for fuelwood and new land for cultivation.
The proportion of the exposed population killed by the 2006
mudslide is a measure of the vulnerability. Factors include poverty
and population growth. Southern Leyte is one of the poorest regions
in the Philippines. Between 19952000 the population grew by
2.73% forcing people to live in high risk zones.
Deforestation results from commercial logging as well as population
growth. Logging bans have not been enforced by the government.
Policy failures have their roots in corruption among politicians and
government officials. Even where sustainable logging has been
practised, deeprooted forest trees have been replaced by shallow
rooted cocoanuts increasing the risk of slope failure.
Hazard maps exist for southern Leyte but aren't detailed enough to
pinpoint villages at risk from mass movements. Following heavy
rainfall and the death of 20 people in a nearby village hazard
warning were issued between 417th feb and several hillside villages
were evacuated. Many however couldn't afford to leave their
o Evacuation set up around St Bernard, capital of south Leyte.
o Emergency aid safe drinking water, sanitation and health services.
o Southern Leyte is remote and its poor communications slowed disaster
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International aid was provided by the red cross and red crescent and a
disaster appeal raised US$1.6million
o Gov concerned to better identify the areas most at risk from mudslides,
has commissioned a new $1.5milliom geohazards survey and mapping
maps of southern Leyte.
o The Philippine National Red Cross reported that 53 persons were
rescued from the mud on 17 February,
Environmental Social Economic
Thousands of livestock killedOver 1000 killed including
as well as burying 246 children at elementary
surrounding farmland. schools.…read more