UPDATE: As I feared from the moment I saw the false color satellite image below over one thousand people in the town of Guinsaugon (St. Bernard) Southern Leyte have indeed been entombed under a six square mile 100 foot thick slab of the Earth. While I support the strict enforcement and strengthening of national log ban laws, serious observers should note the politically incorrect but scientifically sound remarks that ALL THE TREES IN THE WORLD COULD NOT HAVE SAVED GUINSAUGON SAINT BERNARD BECAUSE THIS WASN'T THAT KIND OF LANDSLIDE.
Above image shows the landslide zone (yellow area) straddling a long section of the Philippine Fault system (which is an extensive network of faults going through the Philippines much like the San Andreas Fault in California). To the left of this line the elevation is about 700 meters above sea level, forming the mountain ridge that ran above St. Bernard. The landside zone is about 4 miles long as shown here and up to 1.5 miles wide. This map was presented on TV and explained by Dr. Marcelo Magay to Tina Monson Palma. (I just added the annotations based on his presentation.)
The best coverage of ongoing relief efforts at St. Bernard town in Southern Leyte following a massive landslide last Friday, is at the US NAVY WEBSITE...complete with photos and details as US servicemen already in the Philippines for the Balikatan training program, are sent in to help with the rescue efforts. Philippine officials have excitedly announced "signs of life" at the site of a school with over 200 children feared trapped under 100 feet of earth. It is feared up to 2,000 people may have perished in the landslide.
A HORRIFIC MUDSLIDE in the Southern Leyte town of St. Bernard has grabbed national and even global headlines.
An entire town of Filipino men, women and children, numbering over 1500 souls, has apparently been buried under thirty meters of fallen earth.
Text messages from teachers in a school with over 200 elementary school age pupils were received by panic-stricken relatives last Friday, but nothing has apparently been heard from whoever sent them since then.
Help from other countries is pouring in or being offered from all over the world.
News reports this morning indicate that more bad weather has moved in. Rescuers have lost an earlier sense of urgency. They know just by looking at the awesome mound before them, that all are lost, who have not already been found.
A huge piece of the Earth --30 meters thick covering 6 square miles-- mobilized by ceaseless rains, has entombed them in their home town, probably forever.
Searchers do not even know precisely where to look for them, as all landmarks of the town have evidently disappeared along with most of those who were familiar with them.