Philippines

Cebu landslide retrieval operations hoped to end Sunday

SURVIVOR. Rescuers carry a survivor out of the landslide in the early days of search and rescue operation last week. Search and retrieval operations will continue until all missing persons have been accounted for, says Garry Cabotaje, Emergency Operations Center spokesperson pn Saturday (September 29, 2018). (Photo courtesy of the Cebu Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office)

CEBU CITY (Philippines News Agency) — Disaster responders dug up five disfigured body parts from the landslide site in the City of Naga on Saturday and are hoping to accomplish their mission by Sunday.

Garry Cabotaje, Emergency Operations Center (EOC) spokesperson, said there are now only 11 missing persons as of 2 p.m. and search and retrieval operations will continue until all of them have been accounted for.

Cabotaje said the number of missing persons could possibly be lower than 11 as there are nine body parts still unidentified.

If these body parts could be established as belonging to nine different missing persons, then the search and retrieval operations would be over soon, he said.

Cabotaje said the dismembered body parts could not be included yet in the death count, which stands at 72, pending the disaster victim identification (DVI) by the National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7).

Fifty-three bodies and 23 body parts have been brought to the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes in Cebu City, where the NBI-7 has been conducting forensic identification.

Meanwhile, neighboring municipality San Fernando has accommodated some of the displaced families and evacuees at the town’s basketball gymnasium.

There are now 64 displaced families, or 242 individuals, at the San Fernando covered court. (PNA)

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