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Banaue travel has been temporarily halted for tourists.

After a slew of mudslides and flash floods were caused by nonstop rain on Thursday, tourists are urged to temporarily halt travel to Banaue.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said in a statement that it would closely monitor developments in the area and work with the impacted local government entities and tourism stakeholders.

Travel to Banaue should be put on hold while clearing and cleaning efforts are taking place, the statement continued.

Speaking to Banaue Mayor Joel Bungallon on Friday, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco offered stranded travelers any further support they would require as well as immediate assistance.

The agency discovered that a couple of the 55 visitors who were previously reported as being stranded are still staying in their places of lodging.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and relief efforts were coordinated, it added.

No visitors to the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), the DOT infrastructure agency that owns and manages the Banaue Hotel and Youth Hostel, were injured.

The 81-room hostel’s side service access road was eroded and carved away by a landslide, and the parking lot was also impacted by one that happened in front of the main entrance.

“Cleaning is being done, and no visitors were hurt. However, Secretary Frasco discussed with (TIEZA) Chief Operating Officer Mark Lapid a temporary ban on using the facility to guarantee the safety of visitors and staff after becoming aware of these damages “DOT stated.

Engineers from the Architecture and Engineering Service Sector of the TIEZA, which manages the Authority’s infrastructure projects, have been sent to Banaue.

The DOT said that it had coordinated the issue with the Department of Public Works and Highways’ regional office as well.

After being impacted by mudflows, the majority of hotels are completing cleaning operations. Some hotels have reported partial damage to ripraps and water pipes.

Meanwhile, since some impacted communities haven’t yet had their electricity restored, communication is still difficult.

Affected tourists should contact the DOT-Cordillera at 0916-4899189 or 0915-6134546 for assistance or post a message on the DOT Official Facebook page.

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