3 killed after tree falls on hut during storm Quinta

Voltaire Tupaz
A member of the family survived the wreckage but broke his two legs

TACLOBAN, Philippines – Three members of a family were killed and another injured after a tree fell into their makeshift shelter on Tuesday night, December 25, when tropical storm Quinta (international codename: Wukong) battered Eastern Visayas.

Rodrigo Busa (age 54) Rosita Busa (50) and their youngest son Kimjie (7) were found dead at noon Wednesday, December 26, in Bgy Del Pilar, where they make a living from gold panning, Mayor Henry Afable of Maydolong, Eastern Samar told Rappler.

An identified 12-year old child of the Busas survived the wreckage but broke his two legs, Afable said.

Rescuers brought the injured Busa to the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital in Borongan City. They only arrived at the hospital around 5 pm, Wednesday, Afable said.

The dead bodies of the Busas were brought back to their house in Bgy Tagaslian, a remote village only accessible by a two-hour hike from Bgy Del Pilar. They were survived by two other children whom they left in Bgy Taglisan during the storm.

According to Afable, the rescuers had difficulty retrieving and transporting the bodies of the Busas because they had to cross a swollen river before they could reach the nearest road where the ambulance could pass.

Afable said the municipal government initially gave the survivors P 5,000 as financial assistance.

Missing

Meanwhile, at least one person was reported missing after topical storm Quinta hit Eastern Visayas, Wednesday, December 26.

Noya Silvano, a 36-year old fisherman from Barangay Macario in the coastal town of Merida in Leyte was reported missing, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MDRRMC) of Merida said in a report.

“He was reported drowned while fishing at about 5 in the morning in the seawaters of Merida,” Nestor Dela Peña of the MDRRMC in Merida said.

Police authorities are conducting a search and retrieval operation, according to Dela Peña.

At noon of Wednesday, December 26, the Philippine Coast Guard stations in the region resumed issuing navigational clearances to passenger sea vessels headed to destinations without typhoon signal such as Mindanao.

Quinta made landfall around midnight near Abuyong, Leyte

Minimal damage

“Because of this casualty, we have not been fully successful in meeting our zero-casualty target,” Office of Civil Defense (Region VIII) acting regional director Rey Gozon told Rappler.

Although saddened by the reports, Gozon said the OCD is grateful it was able to limit the number of casualties.

“I think there has been a paradigm shift in the acceptance of our disaster risk reduction and management program, especially by the local executives. It’s a big factor which contributed to the very minimal damages caused by typhoon Quinta,” Gozon said. – Rappler.com

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