Nuns, girls leave orphanage as wall collapses

Posted on August 19, 2011

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OVER 80 girls, four nuns and three drivers housed in an orphanage in a Cebu City mountain barangay vacated the building after the rip-rap retaining wall in front of the compound gave way past 9 p.m. Wednesday night.

“We were about to sleep when all of a sudden we heard a crashing sound. At first we didn’t have an idea what it was. Then we realized that it was the rip-rap (facing the highway) that collapsed,” said Linda Mendoza, treasurer of My Bonita Home for Girls.

The My Bonita Home for Girls is a two-story residential care center in barangay San Jose, Cebu City, that is administered by the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Hearts.

Scared over the stability of the building, the nuns left facility.

Members of the Special Rescue Unit of the Bureau of Fire Protection went to the area around 10 p.m. to assist in the transfer of the occupants to another religious facility, the Tabor Hill of the Order of the Discalced Augustinians.

San Jose barangay captain Joventino Ardava asked DEPW to check the integrity of the soil in the area and the Office of the Building Official to see if it would be safe for the girls to return to the orphanage.

OBO chief Josefa Ylanan said a team of engineers from the Department of Engineering and Public Works went to the area to check the stability of the soil.

Last Aug. 14, two rip-rap walls, also in San Jose, collapsed into the river due to heavy rains.

Several landslides also occurred in three other mountain barangays—Bacayan, Guba and San Jose—displacing 47 families.

Meanwhile, a 13 year-old boy drowned while he and his three other classmates were swimming in a stagnant water stored in an open pit of a quarry site in barangay Pit-os, Cebu City.

Raffy Quimbo of barangay Cabangahan, Consolacion town, did not reach the hospital alive.

Barangay councilor Lino Bontilao said the four grade 4 pupils from Cabangahan Elementary School, which is located next to Pit-os, skipped their classes and went to an open pit at the quarry site.

Bontilao said the pupils did not know that the pit was around 8 feet deep because of the muddy water. /INQUIRER with Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan

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