BORONGAN CITY, Jan 4, 2019—A passenger bus and a van were partially buried when a huge landslide of clay and boulders engulfed a portion of the highway in Barangay Binaloan, Taft, Eastern Samar at about 4 PM on January 3, 2020.
That was the biggest and last of 3 landslides that occurred that day some hundred meters apart on the same highway; the first one happened at 9 AM, the second at 11 AM.
The quick-response team of Taft municipality in cooperation with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) already partially cleared the debris from the 2 earlier landslides and several vehicles passed through when the biggest of the 3 landslides plunged.
Reportedly, the passengers of the ill-fated bus and van walked following other vehicles in crossing the partially cleared areas so that when the 3rd landslide struck the partially buried vehicles were already empty of people.
According to DPWH advisory, the third landslide was estimated to have eroded about 10,000 cubic meter of clay and boulders, covering several meters of the two-lane highway. It may take a couple of days to make the highway passable, according to unofficial projections.
The battery of landslides was reportedly caused by the continued heavy rainfall since the province of Eastern Samar was hit by typhoon Ursula on the eve of Christmas.
The Barangay Binaloan stretch of the highway that connects Eastern Samar to Samar province is known for landslides every time there is continued heavy rainfall.
While this highway is presently impassable, commuters will have to take the coastal Borongan to Basey route that passes through the famous Balangiga town. (Alren Beronio/ESTENews)