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MANILA, Philippines – The provincial government of Bulacan dubbed as heroes the five members of the province’s disaster risk reduction management office who died in the line of duty during the height of the onslaught of Typhoon Karding.
In a Facebook post, Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando named the rescue workers. They were: George E. Agustin, Troy Justin P. Agustin, Marby B. Bartolome, Jerson L. Resurrecion, and Narciso Calayag Jr.
Bulacan Vice Governor Alex Castro, in another Facebook post, said the rescue workers died during rescue operations in San Miguel town.
Bulacan, Quezon Province, and Nueva Ecija were among the areas hardest hit by the typhoon – which brought fierce winds and caused floods.
“Nasawi po ang limang PDRRMO rescuers sa gitna ng rescue operations sa kasagsagan ng Bagyong #KardingPh sa Bayan ng San Miguel (The five PDRRMO rescuers died in the middle of rescue operations due to Typhoon Karding),” Castro shared.
Castro added that a flash flood caused the rescue workers’ death: “Sa kanilang paghahanda ng life boats ay rumagasa ang flash flood sa kanilang lokasyon na nagpaguho ng isang pader at siyang dahilan ng pagdaloy ng tubig baha na umanod sa ating mga rescuers.”
(While they were preparing life boats, a flash flood swamped through their area that caused a nearby wall to collapse. And then the strong current of the ensuing flood swept our rescuers.)
As of 4:06 pm on Monday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said five died, while six were still missing due to the typhoon. Meanwhile, based on the agency’s data, a total of 20,380 families or 78,907 individuals were preemptively evacuated in the eight regions of Luzon.
The Bulacan governor also sent his condolences to the families of fallen rescuers.
“Sa ngalan ng Pamahalaang Panlalawigan ng Bulacan at ng ating mga kababayan, ang inyong abang lingkod ay lubos na nakikiramay sa mga pamilyang naulila ng ating mga magigiting na rescue workers na nasawi habang tumutupad ng tungkuling mailigtas ang ating mga kababayan sa gitna ng hagupit ng bagyong Karding,” Fernando said.
(In the name of Bulacan provincial government and our fellow Bulacan natives, I am sending my condolences to the families of our gallant rescue workers, who died while in the line of duty to save people during the onslaught of Typhoon Karding.
According to Fernando, the fallen rescue workers embody the “true character” of Bulacan natives.
“Sila ay kumakatawan sa lahat ng pinakamabubuting katangian ng tunay na Bulakenyo. Ang kaligtasan ng publiko ay higit sa isang trabaho lamang…ito ay isang panawagan ng paglilingkod (They embody the best qualities of true Bulacan natives. Public safety is more than just a job, it’s a call to serve),” Fernando added.
Both Fernando and Castro visited San Miguel town and paid courtesy calls on the families of the fallen rescue workers. Castro said they were able to visit the mortuary, where the rescuers were brought. – Rappler.com