Rescuers respond to save tour guide trapped in flooded Sagada cave

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Googlemap Sagada Ankileng
Map shows location of Barangay Ankileng south of Sagada Proper.

BAGUIO CITY — Members of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) of Sagada, Mountain Province and other local responders are having a hard time rescuing tour guide Roderick Malecdan who was trapped inside Victoria Cave, which has remained flooded at the weekend.

“Saan pay a nabirukan ta nauneg diay danum (He has not yet been found because the water in the cave is still deep),” said Sagada Tourism Officer Robert Pangod.

Sagada among mountains and forests
The popular tourist destination, Sagada, is nestled on a valley hemmed in by mountains,limestone caves and forests. Photographed by Aldwin Quitasol, News5 | InterAksyon

The Police Regional Office – Cordillera (ProCor), on Sunday afternoon, July 16, 2017, reported that seven Sagada tour guides entered Victoria Cave in Sitio Maduto, Barangay Ankileng to explore the cave as it is being eyed as an additional tourist attraction in the Cordilleras. But while they were exploring inside, a large volume of water suddenly entered the cave pushing them further inside the cave.

At around 6:45 PM, personnel of the Sagada Municipal Police Station rushed to the scene.

Four of the guides were able to extricate themselves from the flooded cave. Two more were later rescued. But Roderick went missing. The identities of the other tour guides were not immediately divulged by the authorities even as rescue efforts continue and an investigation is underway.

Sagada Mayor James Pooten, ordered, meanwhile, that caving activities in the municipality are suspended until further instructions.