Quake collapses building, kills eight in Davao del Sur, Philippines
A strong earthquake jolted Davao del Sur in the Philippines on Sunday, 15 December 2019, killing eight people and causing a three-storey building to collapse, setting off a search for an unspecified number of people who were feared to have been trapped inside, officials said. Davao City's Rescue 911's Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) Search and Rescue Unit (SRU) retrieved a cadaver out of the collapsed three-story commercial building in Padada on Monday evening, 16 December 2019, following the earlier recovery of two more victims.
The body of Emily Gallegos of Barangay McKinley, Sulop, Davao del Sur was found under the debris near the entrance of South Green Commercial Building at around 21h00. Gallegos was named in local media reports who managed to send a text message to her relatives and friends at about 4h00 on Monday, telling them she was with four other trapped shoppers inside the building.
The text message prompted Mayor Pedro Caminero and other local officials to seek the help of Mayor Sara Z Duterte to send Rescue 911, known for its expertise in extracting victims from collapsed structures.
The search and rescue operations immediately started hours after the 6,9 magnitude earthquake struck the town, Caminero said. However, the series of strong aftershocks following the main tremblor ranging from 2,1 to 5,3 in magnitude, accompanied by heavy rains, delayed the rescue attempt, which was even suspended late Sunday night due to structure's instability.
Rescuers resumed operation early morning on Monday that led to the recovery of two female cadavers. Caminero identified the victims as Evangeline Artiaga of Barangay Tanwalang of the neighboring Sulop town; and Elsa Ababon of NCO District of Poblacion Padada.
From the consolidated report of Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office (DSPPO), eight persons were confirmed dead due to the magnitude 6,9 earthquake on 15 December 2019.
In Matanao, the victims were identified as Cherbel Chime Makidato Gador, a Grade 1 pupil from Barangay Asinan, who was caught by the quake inside their house, and Juliana Donaire Cagas, who was already bedridden and reportedly had a heart attack when the earthquake struck.
Fernando B Balitayo, 63, a resident of Purok 3, Udaka, Barangay Dalawinon in Magsaysay, was reported dead also due to heart attack during the tremor. In Hagonoy, the fatality was identified as Carlito Ibon, 80, who was also reported to have died due to heart attack during the temblor. Another fatality was Elias Degamon, 60, of Barangay New Clarin, Bansalan, who died after being hit by falling debris.
Meanwhile, the Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office (DSPPO) reported that the strong quake injured nearly 200 people and left 58 infrastructures partially damaged. It also damaged 3 471 houses and partially damaged 9 011 others.
Source: Philippine News Agency