SARANGANI (UPDATED) — The death toll in the magnitude 6.8 earthquake that struck parts of southern Mindanao rose Sunday after authorities recovered the bodies of a mother and child in Glan, Sarangani province.
The number of dead in Sarangani has now reached five, with one in the town of Malapatan and four in the town of Glan.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Sunday afternoon reported that 8 people were feared dead and 13 were injured in Friday's major quake.
The NDRRMC added that the earthquake damaged over a hundred infrastructures, including houses, in Sarangani and its neighboring provinces and affected 180 families or 1,509 individuals.
GRUELING RECOVERY EFFORTS
First recovered at around 10 p.m. Saturday was the body of seven-year-old Yra Mae Tagwalan, followed by the body of her mother, Aiza Sumaling Tagwalan, 33, over an hour later.
The recovery of their bodies came more than 30 hours after their nipa hut was buried by a collapsed part of the mountain in Purok Mabuhay, Barangay Mudan as the powerful tremor hit.
The search and rescue team — composed of police officers, soldiers, firefighters, coast guards, and disaster officials — walked for more than three hours before reaching the landslide area, said BGen. Patricio Amata, commander of the Philippine Army's 1002nd Infantry Battalion Bagwis Brigade.
Initially, the search and rescue team only used shovels and bars for digging, as they had difficulty bringing excavator equipment up the mountain due to the lack of passable roads.
It was already 8 p.m. when the backhoe finally arrived, which expedited the digging process.
Amata said the team had to dig as deep as three meters, adding that they also used search and rescue dogs from the Philippine Coast Guard.
The families of the victims are appealing for assistance.
"'Yung bayarin dito sa punerarya P55,000 kasi mag-ina 'yan," said Arden Taglawan, Aiza's sibling.
"Manawagan po ako sa may mga maitutulong sana po matulungan n'yo po kami kasi mahirap din lang kami."
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. earlier said he already called on relevant agencies to monitor the situation and act on the needs of victims.