Body recovered from collapsed building after Leyte quake
TACLOBAN CITY – A three-story commercial building in Kananga town, Leyte “tumbled down” after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck the province on Thursday afternoon.
Kananga Mayor Rowena Codilla said that as of 5 p.m., they were able to rescue one person from New Town who was in critical condition.
One body was also recovered from the commercial building that housed a grocery, hardware and a pension house.
“I cannot give you details about the circumstances of the dead body that was retrieved and the one who was now in critical condition except that they were inside New Town which tumbled down due to the quake,” Codilla told the Inquirer in a phone interview.
Codilla said they were asking for help from rescue groups in Ormoc City and Leyte province since they didn’t have enough equipment needed for the search and rescue operation.
A source of the Inquirer said the collapsed building was holding a seminar attended by Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries from the different barangays of Kananga.
Codilla said that the commercial building was “old, perhaps decades old,” adding that he didn’t know if there were other buildings that were damaged by the quake in his town.
Karen Barrel, information officer of Leyte schools division, said they have also deployed a team to assess the school buildings which could have been damaged due to the earthquake
There were reports that a school building in Kananga and in Jaro were also affected by the quake.
Children rushed out of the school buildings in Tacloban City, Leyte at 4:03 p.m. when the tremor struck.
“They were obviously panicking. There was commotion as children all wanted to get out of their classrooms,” said Gina Esperas, mother of a Grade 4 pupil at the Rizal Central School in Tacloban.
According to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), the earthquake was tectonic in origin with the epicenter traced 8 km southwest of Jaro town in Leyte.
The earthquake triggered a blackout in Eastern Visayas, Bohol and some parts of Cebu.
The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said the tremor affected its Maasin-Ormoc line located in Barangay Tongonon, Ormoc City, Leyte.
While the 138-kV line serves the provinces of Bohol and Leyte, the trip off affected other provinces in the Visayas because of the power interconnection.
Affected were Cebu, Bohol and other provinces in Eastern Visayas –Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Biliran.
Betty Martinez, NGCP spokesperson, said the trip off occurred following the tremor which occurred at 4:03 p.m.
“If something abnormal is detected, the system automatically shuts down,” she explained.
“The 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Leyte affected power generators in the area and likewise affected power supply transmitted to the Visayas, thus the power interruptions being experienced within the VECO franchise at the moment,” said Quennie Bronze of Visayan Electric Company.
But power was fully restored at 5:01 p.m. in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Naga and the towns of Liloan, Consolacion, Minglanilla and San Fernando.
Virgilio Fortich Jr., manager of the Cebu Electric Cooperatives (Cebeco) 3, said power interruption was experienced in the towns of Asturias, Aloguinsan, Pinamungajan and Balamban as well as Toledo City.
“The Toledo Power Company shut down as part of their system and protection protocol. After 15 minutes, power resumed,” he said.
Edna Legaspina, NGCP information officer, said they could not say when power would be restored in Eastern Visayas since they were still assessing if there were damage caused by the quake. With reports from Michelle Padayhag, Leo Udtohan and Doris C. Bongcac
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