BAGUIO CITY — A rockslide occurred at Camp 1, Kennon Road here around 4 p.m. Thursday, killing one person and injuring seven other passengers of a UV express van.
Information from the Baguio-Benguet Public Information Civic Action Group (BB-PICAG) assigned at the whole stretch of Kennon Road this Holy Week, showed the van was traversing Kennon from Baguio City enroute to Pangasinan when the landslide occurred.
BB-PICAG said that the UV express van with plate number AYP 304 is owned by E. Abari Ito and with Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) case number 2002-BC-759. One of its passengers who died in the rockslide was identified as Izia Karl Medalle.
The ill-fated van fell off the road when it was hit by the rocks that fell from the mountain.
Kennon Road was initially closed to vehicular traffic after it was blocked by rocks. Immediate response of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), which conducted a clearing operation led to the reopening of the road to vehicular traffic at 6:30 p.m.
Office of Civil Defense Cordillera Regional Director Alex Uy and other officials rushed to the area upon receiving information from BB-PICAG to handle the situation and come up with appropriate decision.
A heavy downpour was experienced in Baguio City and Benguet Wednesday night, possibly causing soil to loosen, resulting in the landslide. The affected area is among the many identified critical parts of the 33-kilometer Kennon Road.
When there is heavy downpour, motorists are advised to avoid Kennon Road and take other routes such as Marcos Highway and Naguillian Road as stones fall from the mountain and landslides occur.
Thousands of tourists are in Baguio for the Holy Week and emergency rescue operatives are stationed on the roads leading to the city. Liza Agoot/PNA-northboundasia.com