1,000 stranded in SM mall in Rosales

Posted at 10/09/09 9:12 PM

An aerial view of SM Rosales in Pangasinan after it was submerged in floods brought on by Tropical Depression Pepeng.

MANILA - Around 1,000 people, including a pregnant woman, were stranded inside a mall in Rosales municipality Pangasinan since Thursday evening, after floods brought by typhoon Pepeng hit the area.

The people, who sought shelter at the establishment when floods came, were reportedly stuck inside the SM Mall in Rosales for more than a day.

They had to stay on the upper floors of the mall or its roof, as head-deep floods completely submerged the 1st floor, including the mall's grocery.

One of those stuck in the mall was Jinky Sagun, who was 8 months pregnant with her 3rd child and had gone into premature labor.

Her husband, Teddy Sagun, said he tried to bring his wife to 3 hospitals, but all were either flooded or had no doctors and nurses on call.

A blurry picture of Jinky Sagun being rescued from SM Mall in Rosales. Photo by Jeff Canoy.

Jinky, who reportedly had to undergo an immediate cesarian section, was later rescued by members of the Philippine Coast Guard.

Her husband also pleaded with the pilot of an SM-owned chopper - that delivered relief goods to stranded victims early Friday - to bring her to a hospital or clinic in Tarlac.

Jinky, who was put on a stretcher, was reportedly airlifted to Tarlac. Meanwhile, around 600 people are still inside the mall, even if floods have lowered somewhat and the rains have stopped.

The people chose to remain in the area because of the remaining flood's strong currents. Waters purportedly remain at waist-deep level.

People also had difficulty exiting from the mall's upper floors while the first floor remains flooded.

ABS-CBN reporter Jeff Canoy and his crew had to crawl over steel ladders that doubled as makeshift bridges to the next building.

"Nakakalula sa mga nastranded dun at baka bumigay ang bakal (It was dizzying for the stranded people, because the steel ladder might collapse)," he said.

Aside from the relief goods delivered by SM management, members of the police, Philippine military, and U.S. military forces have arrived on the scene to conduct rescue operations. abs-cbnNEWS.com. Report from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News.