NORTH Cotabato — Eight people in earthquake-hit Makilala have remained missing as of Monday noon, four days after the Oct. 31 Magnitude 6.5 earthquake struck the area, an official said.
Provincial board member Joemar Cerebo, spokesperson of the Cotabato emergency operations center, said rescuers were still searching for the missing persons as the death toll in the province since the Oct. 16 6.3-magnitude quake reached 17.
Magnitudes 6.6 and 6.1 also struck on Oct. 29 and two days later, Magnitude 6.5, all epicenters in North Cotabato.
Four of the missing individuals from Barangay Bato were identified as Renante Nudalo, Gace Nudalo, Freddie Bago and Jhonathan Lamar.
A team from the Armed Forces and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau was to be deployed to Barangay Bato to locate the missing and assess the situation there, Cerebo said.
Fears have been expressed that they may have been buried by a landslide.
The four other missing persons are from Barangay Malasila, also in this town. They were Triump Picao, Rolando Acero, Rosalino Dayday, and one still unidentified person.
Cerebo said the temblors injured 271 individuals across the province, 82 of whom were admitted in hospitals while 189 suffered minor injuries.
The quakes destroyed 20,632 houses and damaged at least 5,000 others, he added.
On Sunday, the Air Force rescued 15 residents and three dogs trapped for five days in Sitio Kapatagan, Barangay Luayon in Makilala.
Based on a meeting with the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau on Sunday, residents in several villages have been advised to relocate or evacuate, Cerebo said.
These include barangays Bato, Buhay, Cabilao, Luayon, Sto. Nino (Purok 1 and 2), Malabuan (Purok 12, Sitio Basak), Poblacion (Purok Malaang), and Malungon (Purok 2 and 7) in Makilala; Barangays Daig (center), Bacong (selected houses near barangay hall) in Tulunan; Barangay New Esperanza (Sitio Byao) in M’lang; and barangay Ilomavis (Sitio Agco) in Kidapawan City, according to the Philippine Information Office-12. (Bong S. Sarmiento, Mindanews)