Number of quake dead rises to 184; 582 persons injured-A A +A
Sunday, October 20, 2013
THOUSANDS of families wait for more help in the quake-hit towns of Bohol, but the Sonoro and Empinado families of Sagbayan town wait for closure as well.
Military and police teams tried but failed yesterday to retrieve the bodies of two teenagers and three children, who had gone to Barangay Katipunan last Tuesday to swim in the Bayong Falls.
They have remained missing since a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck.
“Bye, Ma,” was the last thing Joellene, 11, told her mother Genara Somoro. She and her sister Jonalyn, 13, had their parents’ permission to go swimming.
Genara and her husband Joel left their home early last Tuesday morning to harvest their crops.
As of yesterday, the death toll from the quake was pegged at 184.
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) 7 said in its 9 p.m. bulletin that 582 people got injured in the tremors, which hit the Visayas at 8:12 a.m. last Oct. 15. Of those who died, 171 were in Bohol, 12 in Cebu and one in Siquijor.
In Sagbayan, believed to be the quake’s epicenter, the Somoro sisters had gone out for a dip with their cousins Jess Marvin Empinado, 10, Meme Jane Empinado, 8 and Reynaldo Sipsip, 14.
Genara said a retrieval team promised they will retrieve the bodies in two weeks. At least 10 persons died in Sagbayan during the quake, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported yesterday.
“Wa gyod mi wagtangi og paglaum nga makuha sila kay maayo man kaayo to ilang paglakaw (We continue to hope that they will be found),” said Prima Empinado, Jess Marvin and Meme Jane’s mother.
In Barangay Villaflor, Clarin, a retrieval team also failed to get the body of Roger Tagsip, who had also left to go swimming in a river.
His two companions were retrieved last Thursday.
“Gusto lang gyod ko makuha siya (I just want to see him again),” said Estelita, Roger’s mother. He was her eldest son.
Capt. Lolito Destajo, commanding officer of the 6th Special Forces of the Philippine Army, said heavy equipment such as back hoes are needed to dig in the area.
In Villaflor, the officials already sent one, but that will be harder to do in Clarin, Destajo said. The roads in Barangay Katipunan are too steep and remain impassable by heavy equipment.
More than 20,000 other families in Bohol continue to wait, although initial handouts of water and food have been distributed.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 7 has put up 90 evacuation centers since the disaster took place. They reported having attended to 386,226 individuals or 89,218 families.
The report from OCD 7 showed many government buildings were damaged by the quake.
These included the Tagbilaran City Hall, as well as the municipal halls of Batuan, Dauis, Buenavista, Sagbayan, Danao and Antequera.
Several teams from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWD) 7 have assessed the damaged roads, bridges and buildings in Bohol.
The engineering teams in Bohol are repairing damaged roads and finding passable detours.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Central Command (Centcom) and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are also facilitating the transfer of goods for the survivors in Tagbilaran City.
The National Nutrition Council (NCC) 7 has sent teams to different evacuation centers in Bohol and distributed micronutrient supplements to those who need it.
The Department of Health (DOH) 7 also assessed the situation in each area and provided immediate medical needs, secured water sources and sanitation, and offered psychosocial services to first responders.
The DOH said it also provided tetanustoxoid and water purification tablets in Tagbilaran City.
Several medical groups from Cebu also coordinated with OCD 7 to plan medical missions in Bohol.
International assistance was offered by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Asean Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 20, 2013.