Cultists heed experts' warning, to abandon tunnels by mid-year
LEYTE, Leyte - No "ring of fire" came, but earthquakes and landslides might, and they better leave, government experts warned them.
Now, cultists here led by octogenarian Seferino Quinte, apprised of the potential disasters, vowed to leave by mid-year the tunnels they have dug up to save themselves from the doomsday they imagined the new millennium would bring.
In a dialogue last Friday, a team of experts from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) finally convinced Quinte's group to abandon the 51 tunnels they have carved out of the old man's four-hectare hilly property here since two years ago.
Quinte assured the government experts and local authorities that his family and followers would return to their homes by July. About 50 families, from the original 160, remain at the site.