1st Pinoy casualty in New Zealand quake identified-A A +A
Thursday, March 10, 2011
CEBU CITY -- The body of one of the Cebuano nurses buried during the earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand last February 22 was retrieved and identified through DNA testing.
An ABS-CBN report confirmed it was 33-year-old Ivy Jane Cabunillas, who hailed from Talisay City.
She left behind a husband and 11-year-old twin daughters in Christchurch.
Helen Baisa, Cabunillas's aunt, said the family had accepted her death.
The body of Jewel Francisco, another Filipino victim, was also recovered from the rubble and identified.
The others who remain unaccounted for are Rhea Mae Sumalpong, Jesse Lloyd Redoble, John Christopher Chua, Ezra Mae Medalle, Emmabelle Anoba, Valquin Bensurto and Mary Lousie Amantillo.
Their families hope their bodies will be found soon.
Of the victims, only Cabunillas was confirmed as a member of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (Owwa), said Rey Jacalan, Owwa Program and Services Division officer-in-charge.
As such, her family is expected to receive P200,000 in death benefits and another P20,000 in burial assistance, he said.
The victims were mostly nurses attending an English proficiency class, which was a requirement so they could take the accreditation exam and work in New Zealand.
The earthquake's death toll as of Wednesday was 145, with more than 200 people still missing. (OCP/Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 10, 2011.