Family cheats death in magnitude-6.1 Cagayan temblor

Published July 2, 2022, 5:50 PM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

THE Unnagans at their house the morning after the earthquake.
APARRI, Cagayan – A family from this town got out just in time and avoided being buried alive at the height of a magnitude-6.1 earthquake that rocked this province Friday, July 1.

Gemma Unnagan, 42, of Barangay San Antonio here, recalled she got out of bed to answer the call of nature at around 2:30 a.m. and returned back to bed beside her husband and their one-year-old baby.

Moments later, the ground started to shake and Gemma realized that an earthquake had struck. She immediately got up and gathered her husband and six children and got out of the house before it collapsed.

POLICE personnel from Aparri who delivered the groceries.
“Maya-maya lang naramdaman ko na ang paguga at may kalakasan kaya agad ko ginising ang iba namin anak at nagtatakbuhan sa labas, at pagkalabas din namin ng pintuan, segundo lang ay biglang gumuho ang pader namin (I felt the strong earthquake and immediately gathered my children and got out of the house before the wall collapsed),” Gemma narrated in a phone interview with the Manila Bulletin.

The Unnagans were still in shock from their near-death experience during the interview and had nothing to eat and even asked this writer for food.

Kathlene Gerona, a cousin of the victims, also of Barangay San Antonio, posted photos of the damage to houses from the earthquake Friday and these were shared by netizens with a number where they could send assistance.

However, Gerona lamented that they were taken advantage of and no assistance reached them.

GROCERIES for the family as assistance from the police.
According to her, dishonest people grabbed their photos and used these as theirs to solicit assistance from well-meaning citizens.

“Hindi naman po nakarating ang anumang tulong sa amin, ginamit lang nila ang photos at sarili nilang Gcash number and pagkatapos ay dinelete na nila (No help reached us. They used our photos and claimed them as their own to get help and deleted them afterwards),” Gerona said.

A RELATIVE of the Unnagans in her house after the temblor.
Police Col. Renell R. Sabaldica, Cagayan Police Provincial Office chief, learned their plight and called the chief of police of this town and ordered him to give assistance to the earthquake victims.

Assistance was composed of a sack of rice and groceries.

The Aparri Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office is assessing the damage from the earthquake.

(Photos via Liezle Basa-Inigo)