‘Balete’ tree pins to death couple, hurts 2

ZAMBOANGA CITY — A couple died while their two children survived, though wounded, when a fig (balete) tree pinned down a semi-concrete house and partially damaged three others in a coastal village west of this city.

The incident happened at around 5:50 a.m. Wednesday in Purok 5, Barangay Sinunuc, this city amid heavy downpour coupled with strong winds spawned by inclement weather condition.

The fatalities were identified as Nasser Sajili, 53, and his wife, Nursilin, 40.

Injured were Sajili’s children, namely Rakib, 15, and Hadiya, 11. They sustained bruises and contusions and were taken to the hospital.

Tammang Musa, a neighbor of the Sajili family, said there was a rambling sound, but all they thought that what they heard was wind gusts coupled with heavy downpour.

Musa disclosed she and her neighbors rushed to the Sajili’s residence upon seeing an uprooted fig tree pinned the victims’ house.

They managed to pull the two children of the Sajili couple from the rubbles. Hadiday was still inside a mosquito net.

Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) chief, said in a text message that the medics declared Nursilin dead on site.

Nasser, who was plucked out from the rubbles at around 8 a.m., was rushed but failed to reached the hospital alive.

Zamboanga City had been experiencing inclement weather condition since Sunday brought about by the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ).

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Wednesday reported that ‘Paolo’ had strengthened into a typhoon and would bring rains over most parts of the country.

Scattered light to moderate with occasionally heavy rains caused by Typhoon Paolo will prevail over Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Bicol region, Visayas, Mindanao and the provinces of Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Aurora. (PNA)