Res­cuers’ fran­tic search

DEADLY QUAKE: RACE TO FIND PEO­PLE FEARED TRAPPED UN­DER RUB­BLE

The Citizen (KZN) - - World - Padada

Sun­day’s tremor cracked schools, top­pled homes and in­jured dozens.

Res­cuers in the south­ern Philip­pines used heavy equip­ment and their bare hands yes­ter­day in hopes of find­ing sev­eral peo­ple feared trapped be­neath a build­ing top­pled by a pow­er­ful earth­quake that claimed at least three lives.

Sun­day’s tremor cracked schools, top­pled homes and in­jured dozens but largely spared big cities on the is­land of Min­danao, which is still re­cov­er­ing from a string of deadly quakes in Oc­to­ber.

Searchers have pulled sur­vivors from the col­lapsed mar­ket build­ing in the town of Padada, but were still look­ing for a per­son who had texted au­thor­i­ties say­ing six peo­ple were trapped un­der the rub­ble.

“The per­son can no longer be reached,” said fire of­fi­cial Fred Tra­jeras, adding that res­cuers’ held out hope sur­vivors could be found.

A young child was killed when a fam­ily home col­lapsed near the epi­cen­tre, and searchers pulled the bod­ies of two vic­tims from the col­lapsed mar­ket build­ing.

How­ever ap­plause erupted af­ter Les­ley Jane Gatos, 31, was pulled from the rub­ble on Sun­day, shortly af­ter the tremor.

Gatos used her phone to call for help and then be­gan mak­ing noise to at­tract the at­ten­tion of res­cuers, who reached her af­ter clear­ing a path in the de­bris.

“Fi­nally I was able to get out. I saw peo­ple. They clapped be­cause I was the first one res­cued,” she said.

The col­lapsed build­ing was near the epi­cen­tre of the 6.8-mag­ni­tude quake and is in the same re­gion that was hit by three tremors above 6.0 in a mat­ter of weeks in Oc­to­ber. – AFP

Pic­ture: AFP

DE­BRIS. Sol­diers walk among de­bris in Padada town, Davao del Sur prov­ince on the south­ern is­land of Min­danao yes­ter­day, fol­low­ing a 6.8-mag­ni­tude earth­quake on Sun­day.

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