SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews/Dec 18) – Eleven members of a family in Sibagat, Agusan del Sur, among them a six-month old baby, were buried by a landslide as they were heading to an evacuation center on Thursday amid the onslaught of Typhoon “Odette.”
According to Rolando Buag, head of the town’s emergency operations center, the incident happened in Barangay Kioya.
The victims, while walking towards the evacuation center, were first hit by a fallen Balite tree and then buried by the onrush of loosened soil, Buag added.
Only one member of the family survived because he was left behind to clear an uprooted tree that almost fell into their house. The incident of the fallen tree reportedly triggered the family to evacuate.
The man, according to Buag, was at first clueless about the fate of his family. He followed them to the evacuation center but was surprised he couldn’t find them there.
He went back several times to their community to look for them. On Friday, he asked the help of barangay officials to look for his family. They discovered a foot protruding from a mound and started digging.
The bodies of four fatalities have so far been recovered – Pirelyn C. Sanico, Proylan A. Cabalquinto, Pejie A. Cabalquinto, and Arvie A. Cabalquinto.
Still missing are Jaypol M. Sanico, Ploralyn A. Cabalquinto, Babyjane A. Cabalquinto, Robert A. Cabalquinto, Zachary Peljay C. Sanico, Ziariah C. Sanico, and Prince Rendel C. Calang.
Sibagat Mayor Maria Liza Evangelista has enlisted the help of rescuers from the provincial government. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)