Saturday, June 17, 2017

81 Searchers Mobilized To Find Missing Korean Hiker In Cordillera Mountains

The Korean national who went missing several days ago while hiking through the Cordillera mountains is yet to be found. Dozens of searchers and rescuers have been deployed to search for Choi Sungkyu who was last seen on June 9 within the vicinity of barangay Latang in Barlig, Mt. Province. He was headed to the direction of barangay Pula in Banaue, Ifugao. He was traveling alone without a guide.

In their latest update about the search and rescue operations, the Mountain Province Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said that 81 people are currently being mobilized to find the missing Korean. These are composed of 20 responders from the Sagada MDRRMC, 18 responders from the PDRRMC, 27 locals from the Barlig MDRRMC, and 16 Korean nationals. The rescuers were divided into seven teams.

Although Choi was last seen in June 9, he was last contacted via mobile phone in June 14 as relayed to the Barlig Police by the Korean Embassy. Choi arrived in Barlig in June 7.

Here's a quick overview of the circumstances surrounding the Korean national's disappearance:
1. Choi Sungkyu arrived at the town of Barlig in Mt. Province on the evening of June 7.

2. Two days later, on June 9, he checked out of the inn where he stayed. His plan was to climb Mt Amuyao and hike his way to Batad in the nearby province of Ifugao. He was seen on this day within the vicinity of barangay Latang in Barlig. He was heading to the direction of barangay Pula in Banaue, Ifugao.

3. On June 13, policemen from Barlig were able to contact Sungkyu through his mobile phone. They asked for his location. Sungkyu said that he was in a place surrounded by pine trees and that he was feeling very weak. Sungkyu also told the policemen that he has to turn off his phone to conserve the battery.

4. On June 14, the Barlig police was alerted by the Korean Embassy that Sungkyu is still alive and that he was near a big rock in the mountains.

5. Search teams were immediately dispatched to areas along Sungkyu's route that had large rock formations. The teams weren't able to locate him. The teams combed through sitios Ammiw and Furud in Latang but Sungkyu was nowhere to be found.
Photo by the Mountain Province DRRMO