UPDATE: Quake death toll is now at 39– OCD

MANILA, Philippines – Quake death toll is now 39 as search and rescue workers on Friday unearthed four more bodies in a remote village in Negros Oriental, some four days after central Visayas was hit by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake, officials said.

Usec. Benito Ramos, administrator of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said that retrieval of five bodies have upped the quake death toll to 39.

The OCD chief three bodies were retrieved by rescue workers in Barangay Plans in Guihulnga City and two bodies in Brgy. Solongon in La Libertad town.

“There are still 66 missing and they are subject of our operations,” Ramos told defense reporters in a phone patched interview.

The first to be retrieved was the headless body of woman in Brgy. Plans early Friday as rescue workers resume their operations.

“Nakakuha kami kanina umaga nang mag-resume na iyong retrieval operations at nakakuha ng isang katawan ng babae… walang ulo ito, doon nakuha yun bangkay sa may Brgy. Planas,” Ramos said.

The NDRRMC bulletin said the city of Guinhulngan has the most number of deaths with 14 followed by Jimalalud town with seven deaths; La Libertad with six; three deaths in Tayasan; two each in Manjuyod and Ayungon and one in Bindoy.

The magnitude 6.9 earthquake, which government experts traced to a unrecorded faultline, has so far affected a total of 17,681 families or about 88,407 persons, the NDRRMC bulletin said.

From this figure, a total of 4,527 families or 22, 657 are currently staying in 14 evacuation centers set up by the government and NGO’s in Negros Oriental, the NDRRMC reports said.


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