Catmon tragedy: Body of girl swept away by flashflood found, her mom still missing
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — The body of a 7-year-old girl, who was swept away by floodwaters while swimming in Tinubdan Falls in Barangay Tabili in the town of Catmon in northern Cebu on Sunday afternoon, September 26, 2021, was found by rescuers, several hours after the incident.
Patrolman Genesis Caballero of the Catmon Police Station said that the body of Princess Alastra was found in Sitio Kulo, Barangay Duyan at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday, September 27, 2021, or almost 22 hours since she went missing on Sunday.
Caballero said that Barangay Duyan was an adjacent barangay of Barangay Tabili, where seven-year-old Princess Alastra, her 32-year-old mother Jacel, her 17-year-old cousin Kent Jude Monterola, and 14 other relatives and family members were swimming in the Tinubdan Falls there before the flashflood.
Caballero said they were conducting further search and retrieval operations for her 32-year-old mother Jacel, who was also swept away from the gush of floodwaters.
It can be recalled that the three of them went missing since Sunday afternoon (September 26).
Monterola’s body was recovered Sunday night near the spillway in Katambisan in Barangay Corazon, almost eight hours after the incident.
Carlos Dolendo, who was also at the waterfalls when the incident happened, earlier said that there were around 100 persons at the vicinity when the incident happened around 1 p.m., and that about 30 of them were enjoying water at the falls then.
He said the gush of floodwaters came as a surprise since they only experienced drizzles in the area.
Prior to the sudden incident, Dolendo said the caretaker earlier warned all the local tourists of the possibility of flooding when the drizzles started, but most of them began to scamper when they heard of someone shouting about the gush of water that was headed their way.
He said that they tried to rescue Monterola by throwing a rope at his direction. However, the boy eventually lost his grip and was swept away after about 30 minutes of hanging onto a rock.
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