SOUTHERN LEYTE, Philippines (KHNL)- One tragedy is over, but the threat of more mudslides still lingers.
It's still rainy season in the Philippines and the soil is very soft. This is creating fears for people in 2 dozen villages in the Guinsaugon region in the southern part of Leyte Island. Even though the biggest landslide happened in St. Bernard's Province, it is definitely not the only one.
On the drive down to the St. Bernard site, our KHNL crew encountered a couple of other minor landslides. Landslides occur several times a year. One in the area of Lipanto happened a week before the one in Guinsaugon.
A few miles further down the road in the neighboring Hindag-an village, they found a second landslide which occurred the same day as the one in Lipanto.
In the municipality of Sogod, 19 of its 45 villages - or barangays - must evacuate when heavy rains arrive. Mayor Shepherd Tan, Municipality of Sogod explains, "The entire province is affected by heavy rain. We were able to identify barangays at heavy risk, like high slope mountains. The entire province is a high risk now. We advise the people to evacuate. Transfer them to a safer place."
Using his hands to visualize, Mayor Tan showed the size of the cracks in the mountains in his district. He said that many of those cracks are one meter wide. Mayor Tan expressed his concern, "Any time heavy rains may cause the mountainsides to collapse."
The threat was so great, the governor even placed Sogod Province under a state of calamity.