Lavezares Landslide kills 6

A family of 6 were killed when a landslide buried their house in a hillside of Barangay Ocad, Lavezares, Northern Samar at about 1 a.m. Saturday. The family died instantly when the mudslide composed of big rocks and rushing water totally wrecked their wooden house while they were sleeping. The fatalities were identified as: Gemma dela Cruz, 32, four months pregnant; her husband Edwin, 31, and daughters Dina, 5; Ina, 4; Carla, 2 years and six months old; and Rowena, one year and four months.

Two other persons were injured, one of them seriously. Their houses were also completely destroyed. Luckily they were able to escape before their houses collapsed. They were identified as Pacita Esplana and Victor EspiƱa, 42. Espina suffered serious injuries and is now being treated at THE Northern Samar Provincial Hospital in Catarman.

Barangay Captain Reynaldo Doniquin of Barangay Ocad said they heard a loud explosion and went on to investigate. There they found out that it was due to the mudslide. He said he and some residents immediately tried to rescue the victims, to no avail.

He also revealed that prior to the landslide, they advised the residents living around the area to leave their houses because of heavy rains and a crack was already seen on the hill where a Globe cell site was located.

Some residents were blaming the Globe cell site for the incident. They said the perimeter wall of the cell site tower facing the houses collapsed and a big rock beside the wall rolled to the houses. The powerhouse and generator of the cell site were carried down by the mudslide.

It is feared that the foundation of the cell site tower has already weakened and anytime the cellsite tower itself may also collapse. Power lines supplying electricity to the area, including the cell site, was already cut off to avoid further accidents.

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