A LANDSLIDE in Sitio Lower Ponce, Barangay Capitol Site, Cebu City killed two persons after last Thursday's downpour.
The victims were identified as Elpedio Geraga, 64, and Juvelyn Sanipa, 31.
Because of the incident, Cebu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office Chief Nagiel Bañacia said six families in the area were evacuated to the barangay hall where they are temporarily staying.
Bañacia said that the heavy rains made the ground unstable. The loose soil caused the bamboo trees that abound in the area to fall on top of Geraga and Sanipa's houses, which are located on the bank of the Guadalupe River.
“Both died as the eroded soil and bamboo trunks covered some portions of their houses,” he added.
The area had been tagged as high-risk and prone to landslide.
It took nearly four hours for emergency responders composed of the City's Quick Response Team, barangay volunteers, Emergency Response Unit Foundation and Bureau of Fire Protection to retrieve the two bodies because the soil was not yet stable.
Capitol Site Barangay Councilor Kelly Quijada said the site is too steep.
No longer safe
“It was really hard because the access to the houses was also too narrow,” he said in Cebuano.
Lijean Dumpit, the victims' neighbor, said that prior to the rain, the bamboo trees were already leaning towards the houses.
Dumpit, whose house is located some 10 meters from the two affected structures, said she is afraid the incident might happen again.
“Even if they will not ask me to relocate, I will really transfer because I am really afraid,” she said.
Most of the residents in the area used to reside in Sitio Maria Cristina until their houses were demolished two years ago.
Meanwhile, Mayor Tomas Osmeña said the City will give P20,000 as financial assistance to the families of the victims.
“It's for the damage of their houses plus burial assistance,” he said.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on September 23, 2017.
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