Death toll in Sunday’s 6.9 quake rises to 8

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 December) – The death toll in Sunday’s magnitude 6.9 quake in Davao del Sur has risen to eight, according to a consolidated report of the Davao del Sur Provincial Police Office (PPO).

The body of Emily Galyegos Beloy, 31, an employee of the South Green Marketing shopping center which collapsed, was retrieved late Monday night. A resident of Mackinley in Sulop town, Beloy was the lone employee who didn’t survive the quake.

Twenty-five of her fellow employees were accounted for shortly after the quake struck at 2:11 p.m. on Sunday

Two bodies are retrieved on 16 December 2019 from the collapsed 3-storey South Green Marketing building (formerly known as Southern Trade) in Padada, Davao del Sur a day after the magnitude 6.9 earthquake. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

On Monday morning, the bodies of Elsa Abanador Ababon, 57, a resident of Tomas Caludio St. in Padada and Evangeline Tarongoy Artiaga, 70, of Barangay Tanwalang in Sulop were retrieved from the collapsed building.

The third body, which turned out to be Beloy, had been located by Monday morning but Engr. Luke Cadayos told MindaNews Monday afternoon that it had not been retrieved because “may nakitang possible life sa loob kaya less priority po muna ang dead. Ang focus ay nasa maaring buhay pa” (there were signs of life inside so the focus was on those who are still possibly alive).

Beloy’s body was retrieved at around 9 p.m., the state-run Philippine News Agency said.

At the press briefing in Padada shortly before 10 a.m. on Monday, Bureau of Fire Protection regional director Fred Trajeras said a worker of South Green named Emily Gollegos (Emily Galyegos Beloy according to the police) one of those trapped in the building, sent a text message to co-worker Juvelyn Cabatbat informing her there were six of them awaiting rescue.

In Matanao town, Cherbel Chime Maki, 6, a Grade 1 student of Barangay Asinan was hit on the head when a wall of their house collapsed during the quake.

Three others died from cardiac arrest: the bedridden Juliana Donaire Cagas of Matanao town, farmer Fernando B Balitayo, 63, a resident of Purok 3, Udaka, in Barangay Dalawinon, Magsaysay town, and Carlito Ibon, 80 years old and a resident of Balutakay, Hagonoy town.

In Bansalan, Elias Degamon, 60, a resident of Brgy. New Clarin was hit by a debris on December 15. (MindaNews)