(UPDATED) Mountain News: 6 volunteers dead in river crossing incident in San Jose, Tarlac

FILE PHOTO: The river in Brgy. Iba, San Jose, Tarlac

We have received reports, both from media and from hikers familiar with the ongoing developments, that a group of outreach participants got caught in a flashflood on August 30 while crossing a river on a hike in Sitio Baag, Brgy. Iba, San Jose, Tarlac. Sitio Baag is home to the “San Jose Circuit” – a trail that runs through three mountains: Mts. Tangisan, Kawayan, and Bungkol Baka. The hikers, who were joining an outreach to the Aeta community in the area  were reported to be descending from Mt. Kawayan when a flashflood swept them from the river they were trying to cross. This incident claimed the lives of 6 volunteers.

An Inquirer report identified the victims as Mark Raven Villanueva, Rocky Sumalinog, Jose Bernadette Ramirez, Jo Marie San Diego and Dooren Adriano (as put forward by their friends the correct names are: Mark Reyvin Villanueva, Rocky Sumalinog, Bernadette Ramirez, Jo Marie San Diego and Doreen Adriano.) Yasmin Solis, the sixth victim, was found two days after the incident

The river in question – Pangasahan River in some accounts – is known to swell during the rainy season.

Flashfloods are the leading cause of hiking-related deaths in the Philippines. In September 2011, hiker Adrian Alba was swept by strong currents in Rodriguez, Rizal. In 2008 and 2009, two incidents in Anawangin Cove in Zambales also involving river crossings, also claimed the lives of several hikers.

The mountaineering community has taken to social media to express sympathies over this tragic accident. We are praying for the comfort for the families of the victims.

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

7 Comments on "(UPDATED) Mountain News: 6 volunteers dead in river crossing incident in San Jose, Tarlac"


Guest
4 years 1 month ago

Taos-pusong pakikiramay po sa mga naulila.

Hopefully, the risks of sad incidents like this and the similar mishap which befell some tourism students on a field trip at Madlum River in San Miguel, Bulacan, in August last year can be minimized. One risk minimization step, in my humble opinion, starts in planning outdoor sorties involving river crossings.

What may be often overlooked in planning is having a closer attention to expected weather conditions way upstream of the river in the itinerary. The weather may be A-OK at the point of river crossing or camping area, but upstream of it the weather could be rainy/stormy and flash floods are brewing. A 5-cents advice which may be worth a thought for those on a river-bound trek.

Guest
4 years 1 month ago

Dedicated to serve our Aeta brothers.. our deepest condolences., May their souls rest in peace.

Guest
4 years 1 month ago

…condolences to the family…

Guest
ponzy
4 years 1 month ago

Sana may educational awareness para sa mga mountaineers naten sa sitwayon n ganito: gear/expeeience/skills assessment of each mountaineer; decision making and situation/threat evaluation by team keader or vote amongst majority of the group; and a immediate rescue protocol/plan for unfortunate circumstances like these.

Guest
Anonymous
4 years 1 month ago

condolences to the family of our fellow mountaineer