DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Authorities confirmed four people were killed while others remain missing in the recent Magnitude 6.9 earthquake that hit Davao region on Sunday afternoon.
Two of the fatalities were recovered from the collapsed building in Barangay Poblacion, Padada in Davao del Sur. They were identified as Evangeline Artiaga, 67 and Elsa Ababon, 57.
Their bodies were pulled out from the collapsed three-story building that housed the Southern Trade Commercial Grocery Store on Monday morning, as retrieval operations were hampered from series of aftershock and the lack of equipment.
Another victim is a 6-year-old girl, Cherbelchen Imgador, from Barangay Asinan in the municipality of Matan-ao who was killed when their house collapsed.
Another casualty in the collapsed grocery building is still to be pulled out from the rubble, hence, cannot be identified.
“There are at least six persons that are being located inside,” said Fred Trajeras, Senior Superintendent of the Bureau of Fire and Protection Region 11.
The rescue team are now using heavy types of equipment for the search, rescue and retrieval operation as they believe there are more victims trapped in the collapsed commercial building.
Several local government units have issued the cancellation of classes in both public and private schools in all levels on Monday as numerous aftershocks were recorded.
The strong earthquake was felt in major cities of Davao, General Santos and Koronadal as well as in the municipalities of Davao del Sur.
In Davao City, acting City Mayor Sebastian Duterte issued proclamation 13 which directed all establishments and organizations to conduct an inspection and ensure the structural integrity of the buildings in the city.
Duterte ordered that buildings that suffered structural damages should be condemned immediately to avoid casualties in the future.(davaotoday.com)