Itogon marks one year since Typhoon Ompong

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Itogon, Benguet recounts the deadly landslide which hit the town in September 2018 during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong. (Lauren Anuma)

Itogon, Benguet (CNN Philippines, September 16) — It was one year ago when a massive landslide struck Itogon, Benguet due to Typhoon Ompong, burying mostly small-scale miners.

On Sunday, the local government of Itogon conducted a pammakan ritual to commerate the first year since the landslide hit the town during the height of the strong typhoon. Baguio City and Benguet province experienced continuous monsoon rains in August 2018, followed by huge amount of rainfall during Ompong, known internationally as Typhoon Mangkhut, which caused the mountainside to erode.

Three native pigs were butchered and offered by elders for those who died in the landslide. The locals offered prayers to spare the town from another tragedy.

More than 100 people died in the Cordillera Administrative Region during the onslaught of Ompong. Most casualties from the massive landslide lived in Level 070 at Barangay Ucab.

READ: Rescue team in Itogon downsized due to landslide threats

After the typhoon, the national government ordered a region-wide halt on small-scale mining activities, affecting one of the town's main sources of livelihood.

A year later, Itogon Mayor Victorio Palangdan said residents know better, as they now heed calls to evacuate during typhoons and continuous rains.

“Because of what happened during Ompong, the people learned something and they voluntarily evacuate themselves when typhoon and rainfall occur," Palangdan said on Sunday.

The Mines Geosciences Bureau - Cordillera has said that the 2018 landslide was not caused by mining.