AN OFFICIAL of the Civil Defense Office in Davao Region (OCD-Davao) said the retrieval operations for three individuals buried in a landslide triggered by an earthquake in Magsaysay, Davao del Sur have been stopped due to constant ground movement.
OCD-Davao operations head Franz Irag said during a press briefing on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at Waterfront Insular Hotel that their office has recorded 10 fatalities since October 16, when the first of a series of earthquakes struck Mindanao.
Five died directly due to the earthquake. Three were from Magsaysay, one from Kiblawan, and one from Bansalan. The other five died from medical conditions.
Irag said three persons in Upper Bala and Barangay Tagaytay in Magsaysay remained missing after they were buried in a landslide.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) have declared a stop to retrieval operations.
“There’s no way na mag-conduct pata og retrieval operation for those three missing individuals nato. Considering that the area is very dangerous na mag-conduct pa og retrieval kay until now sige pa uyog ang yuta and i-consider nato ang safety sa atoang responders,” Irag said.
Irag added that they already talked with the families of the victims and explained the complexity of the operations and risk posed by the continued ground movement.
“Diha nalang ang resting area and medyo gaan nga nadawat sa mga tagtungod nga didto najud ilang paryente nga natabunan kaysa isugal nato ang kinabuhi sa atong responders (That will be their resting area. The families of the victims were able to accept what happened instead of risking the lives of the responders),” he said.
Meanwhile, OCD-Davao Region said based on their report as of November 17, some 718,713 families or 2.874 million persons in Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental and Davao City were directly and indirectly affected by the series of earthquakes.
Of the total, 3,931 families or 15,723 individuals are staying in different evacuation centers in Digos City, Bansalan, Hagonoy, Magsaysay, Matanao, Sulop, and Kiblawan in Davao del Sur province.
As of November 12, five evacuation centers in Digos City have been closed since the internally displaced persons (IDPs) have been sent home.
In terms of assistance, Irag further said the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRMC)-Davao Region has released P56 million assistance to the quake-affected families both financial, food and non-food items or relief items coming from OCD, Department of Health, Department of Social Welfare and Development and, Department of Education.