TACLOBAN CITY – The rescue team has completed on Monday night the retrieval of all four bodies buried by rain-induced landslides in the city’s Quarry district.
The two-day retrieval operation concluded around 6 p.m. on Monday after the recovery of the last two bodies buried by collapsed wall and landslide debris on Saturday night.
The last retrieved was Alejandro Mayolargo’s body. Minutes earlier, the team also unearthed the body of his common-law wife Sherry Jane Amancio, the village secretary. Surviving children identified the two fatalities.
On Monday noon, the team retrieved the body of Amancio’s daughter Zoe Hernandez. The body of Delia Carson, the head of village watchmen, was the first to be recovered pre-dawn on Sunday.
The team temporarily stopped their search on Sunday night as tail end of a cold front dumped heavy rains in the regional capital.The city government here lauded the members of the team who helped in the retrieval operations.
City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officials (CDRRMO) chief Ildebrando Bernadas and Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasain appreciated the determination of the team members to retrieve those who perished despite the bad weather.
“You never give up until the last body is found because in Tacloban we always make sure that no one will be left behind,” Yaokasin said.
Retrieval teams who helped in the two-day retrieval operations are personnel from the city rescue units, city engineers office, traffic operation management and enforcement control office, Bureau of Fire Protection, Army engineering battalion, business chamber fire rescue unit, Delta Green Rescue, Delta Orange Rescue, UNTV Rescue Group, and radio communication groups.
“We are thankful that we have this team in this time of emergency. We continue with our objective as emergency responders and volunteers. This is our extreme manifestation of our volunteerism,” Bernadas said.The incident should serve as a lesson among the city’s residents and officials to intensify preparedness and be more proactive, according to Bernadas.
“People in danger zones should not wait for authorities to order forced evacuation if they are aware that their area is prone to landslide and flooding during heavy downpour,” he added.
The CDRRMO and the city engineer’s office will conduct re-assessment of some areas in the city to update the list of specific places classified as danger zone.
“If found that they are in danger zones, they will be forcibly evacuated and will bring them to evacuation centers during heavy rains and typhoons. We will try to provide them permanent housing for their safety,” Bernadas told PNA. Roel Amazona/PNA-northboundasia.com