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2-yr-old one of 2 dead as tree falls on homes along Manila creek

Two died, including a two-year-old, while several were injured after a huge tree collapsed on houses along Estero de Magdalena at Recto Avenue in Manila following days of heavy rains.

According to Oscar Oida's "24 Oras" report, 42-year-old Edcel Lansiola was rushed to the hospital but also died.

“Tumama po talaga sa kanila ipit po sila doon bale wala silang siwang na makita doon closed po talaga,” neighbor Reynaldo Caparangan said, who was among the injured.

Caparangan said his family was lucky the tree did not totally pin down their home.

"Iyong pagkatumba ng puno, hindi sya masyadong flat, may natira na siwang. Iyong mga anak ko pinadaan ko sa siwang na yun," he said.

However, he had to wait for an hour to be rescued.

According to the Manila government, residents in the area have been waiting for relocation for a long time. But authorities said the pandemic delayed plans to move the residents out of the danger zone.

“‘Yung relocation po nila ay under Pasig River Rehab Commission, ngayon po nawala na po yung Pasig River Rehab Commission, napunta na po sa DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources)  sakto po, nagka-pandemic, ‘di po natuloy ang relocation,” Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna said.

“After maitransfer nga ang trabaho sa DENR National Capital Region, this year lang, ang alam ko dito before PRRC may relocation na ‘yan so alam kong number niya I think may natirang for relocation pa based on the census and tagging ng NHA na meron pang 700 na di narelocate," DENR-NCR regional executive director Jacky Caancan said. 

"Nagbigay na ako ng instruction sa staff na makipagmeeting ang Manila Bay ng region NCR with NHA as well as DPWH on this,” she added.

Lacuna inspected the area following the incidents and said it was no longer safe for the residents to live there. She said their target is to transfer the 40 families to their permanent shelters.

“Naghahanap po kami ng temporary shelter until such time na permanently mare-relocate po sila sa Cavite,” she said.

The eight families affected by the incident are temporarily staying in modular tents on the side of Recto Avenue while the barangay is looking for a safer place.—Sherylin Untalan/LDF, GMA Integrated News