THE death toll in last Thursday’s massive landslide that hit a small village in Naga City in Cebu rose to 45 yesterday, with the recovery of 16 more bodies hours after heavy rains on Saturday temporarily halted all government rescue and retrieval operations.
Ten others have been pulled out alive from the disaster site and are undergoing hospital treatment, according to Police Regional Office 7 director Chief Superintendent Debold M. Sinas.
Among the fatalities were Althea Siton, 4; Olivia Moral, 63; Ananabel Lobiano, 40; Romeo Jabonilia, 40; Francisco Yopac, 60; Michael Versales, 16; Mark Laurence Campanilla, 3; Vianca Versales, 19; Raul Gepuit, 47; Laura Capoy, 52; baby girl Campanilla; Nina Siton; Crystal Jean Siton; Lauro Campanilla; Juanito Siton,42; Emeliana Siton, 85; Jocelyn Siton, 11; Aracelle Lobiano, 49; Jemuel Campanilla,12; Jazwel Campanilla,32; Lemuel Campanilla, 33; Jenessa Campanilla,32; Marcelina Campanilla,52; Franz Laurence Campanilla,10; Zeny Campanilla, 24;Lauro Campanilla, 55; Lexter Campanilla; and a certain Leo Campanilla who was found with a colostomy bag.
The rest of the fatalities remained unidentified but they include a man wearing a basketball shorts with jersey No. ’23,’ a 4-year-old girl wearing a pink polka dot T-shirt; a 50-year-old woman wearing a black spaghetti-strapped blouse and pink- striped leggings; and a girl, around 3 to 5 years old wearing red shorts.
The rescued victims were Rose Ann Lobiano,40; Christopher Semillar, 44; Nestor Capoy, 52; Junalyn Siton, 16; Basilla Omambac, 58; Sidney Ravanes, 35; Babyjane Ravanes, 8; Nito Gepoet,50; Eloisa Sition,11; and Geraldine Lapitan.
Sinas, along with the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office and local town officials, are personally supervising all search, rescue and retrieval operations in Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tinaanin which has been declared off-limits to unauthorized persons amid the danger of another landslide.
“We’re totally enforcing the no-entry limit in the danger zone, even to journalists and non-rescuers,” Sinas explained.
Sinas on Saturday called on the Filipino people to pray that the rains will stop to enable them to continue their rescue and retrieval operations.
“The sight of the 9th survivor who was pulled out alive from the site of the tragedy on Friday afternoon has further raised our hopes that more will be rescued. So we are all praying that the rains will finally stop,” he said.
Police, military and civilian rescuers are in the area searching for more people believed to have been buried alive.
Sinas said continuous heavy rains triggered the landslide which buried at least 24 houses in Sitio Sindulan in Barangay Tinaan and nearby Bgy. Naalad in Naga City.
The official said the rescue operation is being conducted by personnel from the Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Army, the local police and the Office of Civil Defense.
He added that all civilian rescue volunteers were also advised to proceed to the local evacuation area and wait for instructions from officials in order to decongest the danger zone.
Sinas said a total of 427 families, composed of 1,279 individuals, were evacuated to three evacuation centers in the area namely the Enan Chiong Activity Center, the Apo Cement Gym and the Naalad National High School.
With Zaida delos Reyes