Health issues add woes to Naga slide survivors
Aside from the pain of having lost their homes and loved ones, landslide survivors massed in various evacuation centers in Naga City, south Cebu, also need to deal with various health problems.
Diarrhea, cough, colds and fever have been some of the illnesses faced by the evacuees days after a massive landslide hit Barangay Tinaan of Naga City, Cebu on Thursday morning.
Josiemay Casana, 20, currently stays at the Naga City National High School (NCNHS) with her husband Ferdinand, and their two daughters aged 5 and one.
The Casana family has been in the evacuation center since Saturday afternoon after they and other residents of Barangay Pangdan were evacuated following the landslide in the neighboring village of Tinaan.
Josiemay said they have always been concerned about their safety since their house sits right below one of the quarry sites of Apo Land and Quarry Corp.
On Sunday, she said her husband started to have stomach pain while her children also started to have cough and colds because it was cold in the evacuation centers.
The Casana family sleeps with other evacuees in the classroom assigned to them.
“Just a while ago, I also felt that my stomach was rumbling. I was having LBM,” Josiemay told CDN.
On Sunday evening, Dr. EM Cañal of the Department of Health (DOH-7) Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) confirmed that the water samples taken from five evacuation sites in the city turned positive for e-coli and fecal coliform contamination.
Ralph Joseph Balagulan, one of the volunteers in the medical station in NCNHS, said they have already prepared medicines for evacuees who might become ill.
However, medical volunteers in the evacuation sites are only available during the day since there are only a few of them, Balagulan said.
Balagulan and seven other colleagues from a private medical college in Cebu volunteered in the evacuation center in Naga while waiting for the schedule of their medicine board exam.
Cry for justice
Meanwhile, cries for justice ring out as at least 20 fatalities in the massive landslide were laid to rest on Monday.
Families of the victims echoed calls for Apo Land to stop its quarry operations in Barangay Tinaan and other parts of Naga City which they blamed for the landslide.
A banner with the words, “Justice! STOP Quarrying!” was hoisted by Alexander Dejilles, one of the relatives of the victims, outside the St. Francis of Assisi Parish during the Requiem Mass.
Most of the attendees stayed a distance from the coffins because of the foul smell from the dead bodies that were lined up at the center aisle of the Naga City Church.
The search and rescue operations continued on Monday despite admission from Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Baltazar Tribunalo that the chances of finding survivors has dimmed five days after the tragedy.
The death toll as of 2pm on Monday has climbed to 54.
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