Landslide on Cherry Hills Subdivision (August 02, 1999)


          On or about 8:00 pm. on August 02, 1999, a landslide occurred on a slope where Cherry Hills Subdivision is located, in barangay San Luis, Antipolo City. Fifty nine (59) persons were killed, thirty two (32) were injured and one (1) was still missing. Damage to properties runs to millions of pesos, three hundred seventy nine (379) houses were destroyed and one hundred twenty five families were affected. A team of PAGASA technical personnel was tasked to do an actual field investigation on the area to determine the cause of the landslide and to verify if the meteorological situations prevailing at the time had a direct effect on the incident (an extremely large amount of rain fell over the entire metropolis for two consecutive days prior to the disaster).

           Investigations showed that the area has an average slope of about twenty per cent (20%) enough to trigger downslope movements of any unstable materials, conditions permitting. The nature and character of the materials were also contributing factors in this incident as well as human intervention in the form of developments directly on the slopes. Results also showed that the introduction of water (large amount of rains fell over the area) contributed partly in triggering the movement of the materials.

           It was also found out that as early as four to five months from the time of the disaster, the area has manifested repeated signs indicative of ground movements. It is in this context that the team was inclined to believe that early warnings should have been made that could have saved lives and injuries.

           In much the same way, granting that all the necessary steps have been taken prior to the selection of site for construction and development, the team was also inclined to believe that an error in judgement was made by those who approved of such construction and development to take place in an area such as Cherry Hills.