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Army deploys thermal scanners, special gear to help find buriedbodies in Masara

THE PHILIPPINE Army has deployed its personnel and special gear to augment the 1001st Infantry Brigade to fast-track the search and rescue (SAR) operation in the landslide-stricken Barangay Masara in Maco, Davao de Oro.

Major Roberto Escalona Jr., the Civil-Military Operations officer of the 1001st Infantry Brigade, said the brigade supported the SAR efforts of the Municipal Disaster Risk and Reduction and Management Office, organized through the incident command system of the Municipality of Maco.

At the height of the SAR operations, additional K9 units with two rescue dogs arrived at the incident command post in Barangay Elizalde, Maco, Davao de Oro. 

Personnel from the 525th Engineer Combat Battalion also flew from Metro Manila and brought with them thermal scanners that could detect body heat 30 feet underground, Snake Eye cameras that could look into tight spaces, listening devices, and other special equipment.

Since day 1 (Feb. 7) of the search and rescue operations until 7 a.m. of Feb. 12, a total of 55 bodies were recovered, 32 were rescued alive and injured, and continued validation has been conducted on the missing individuals and unidentified bodies.


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