‘Like a monster’s roar’
Ramil Bajo (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2013 - 12:00am

KORONADAL CITY, Philippines – The ground rumbled “like a roaring monster,” making a Tagbilaran official think it was the “beginning of the end of the world” as a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Visayas Tuesday morning.

Tagbilaran City Councilor Gerry Pabi told Brigada Morning News here of the harrowing experience when the earth started to shake.

Pabi, who lives in the heart of the city, said he feared it was the beginning of the apocalypse when a loud roaring sound was followed by violent tremors.

“It was like a roaring monster. Parang tunog ng galit na galit na halimaw,” he said.

The strong vibrations and commotion woke his children.

Pabi described seeing his neighbors standing in the street, some of them yelling and asking, “What is happening?”

When the shaking subsided, Pabi said his mobile phone was full of messages from family, friends and other people living outside Central Visayas asking about the earthquake.

A city official told Brigada News FM here yesterday morning that the earthquake destroyed homes, churches and other infrastructure, including roads and bridges, in the city.

The strong tremor also caused landslides in some towns of the province.

Pabi said his family and neighbors slept in the street Tuesday night for fear of aftershocks causing further damage.

Pabi said he hoped something like this would never happen again, because it was frightening.

The tremor, considered by disaster officials as the strongest to hit the country in many years, shook the city and the entire Bohol, a province known worldwide for its famous Chocolate Hills.

In Koronadal City and other parts of South Cotabato province, The STAR learned that some Catholics and other Christians went to their respective churches to pray for the dead and the areas severely hit by the earthquake.

Muslims in the province also prayed for the victims during their mid-day or worship.

Tragedy for PCSO

For two employees of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes (PCSO), their new assignment turned out to be their last.

Virginia Carausos, 54, sweepstakes/lottery operations assistant; and Melba Cha-Eyal, 57, administrative aide, were crushed to death when their boarding house in Tagbilaran City collapsed during the earthquake.

The two victims were preparing for their new duties after being transferred from PCSO’s head office in Manila, said PCSO general manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II.

Their boarding house was near the PCSO branch office at the Bohol government commercial complex on Marapao Street.

Carausos had served PCSO for 31 years, and Cha-Eyal for 19 years. Carausos left behind a husband and three children, while Cha-Eyal was survived by her husband and a daughter.- Perseus Echeminada

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