Quake death toll now 9: Latest fatalities buried in landslide

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    TWO persons buried by a landslide in Magsaysay town in Davao del Sur during last Tuesday’s quake in Mindanao are believed dead, the town police said yesterday.

    This brings the death toll from the magnitude 6.6 quake to nine.

    Cpl. Krister John Nahine, spokesman of the Magsaysay police station, identified the two as Miggy Attic and Gilbert Soperales, both 33 years old and residents of Barangay Upper Bala in Magsaysay town.

    The official death toll from the Camp Aguinaldo-based National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council as of yesterday was five. It listed the landslide victims in the Upper Bala landslide as missing.

    Nahine said Attic and Soperales were with three others fixing a water system when the earthquake-induced landslide buried Attic and Soperales.

    The three others were able to escape. One is a relative of Attic and was injured.

    Nahine included Attic and Soperales in the police list of fatalities in the quake. The list also included two previously reported deaths — a 15-year-old student who was hit by falling debris and a woman who also died in a landslide.

    Five other deaths were reported in other areas based on consolidated reports — two in Arakan, North Cotabato (rockslide), one in Koronadal City (hit by falling debris), one in Tulunan, North Cotabato (hit by falling debris), and one in Digos City (cardiac arrest).

    Nahine said they have yet to recover the body of Attic and Soperales because personnel were having a hard time going to the area due to the risk of landslides.

    “As of now, we have yet to recover the bodies of the two but according to relatives and the other survivors, the two were buried by the landslide,” said Nahine.

    “If you are going to ask us, we’re inclined to declare them as dead already because their companions said they were buried by the landslide. They were seen by their companions.

    But let’s see what happens… if there will be miracle, which is unlikely,” he said.

    The NDRRMC said 394 persons were injured in Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Soccsksargen regions.

    The epicenter of the magnitude 6.6 earthquake was in Tulunan and felt in nearby areas. A slightly weaker quake hit the same areas on October 16, leaving seven dead and 215 injured.

    The NDRRMC said 133 buildings, houses, and other structures were damaged.

    It said 1,681 families or 8,405 persons were displaced.

    NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal said the damage to structures caused by the October 16 quake worsened due to the latest quake.

    “What happened is the already-damaged structures sustained new damage because of the second earthquake. Some structures (that were damaged during the October 16 quake) collapsed,” said Timbal.

    On some local government raising concerns they would have problem in relief operations because they were still recovering from the October 16 quake, Timbal said the NDRRMC is ready to assist.

    “The moment they seek assistance, through their higher disaster councils, we are going to provide support,” said Timbal.

    As of yesterday, Timbal said the NDRRMC has yet to receive a formal appeal for help from the local government units.

    The Department of Education said 200 schools were recorded with infrastructure damage in Regions 10 to 12.

    Education Secretary Leonor Briones said the fund for repair of schools might not be enough.

    Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the DepEd has requested the budget department for supplemental funds.

    DONATIONS

    Caritas Manila, the social service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, appealed for donations for the quake victims, like clean water, food, clothes, and hygiene items.

    Donations in kind may be brought to the Caritas Manila office at No. 2002 Jesus St. in Pandacan, Manila. Cash donations may be sent online via http://ushare.unionbankph.com/caritas/ or via Cebuana Lhuillier (free of charge).

    Bank deposits may also be done through Banco de Oro (savings account No.: 5600-45905), Bank of the Philippine Islands (savings account No. 3063-5357-01), and Metrobank (savings account No.: 175-3-17506954-3). – With Rod Lagusad and Gerard Naval