Monday, July 18, 2022

Buried for Days Under the Rubble of the 1990 Northern Luzon Earthquake

Imagine being buried alive under tons of rubble for two weeks. No food, no water, and very little hope of being rescued. This is the story of Pedrito Dy, Luisa Mallorca, and Arnel Calabia. They were employees of the Hyatt Terraces hotel in Baguio City when the deadly 1990 earthquake struck. The three hotel staff were buried under the debris when the hotel collapsed. At least 80 employees and guests of Hyatt Hotel were killed by the earthquake. Dozens more were seriously injured.

Pedrito Dy, Luisa Mallorca and Arnel Calabia are among the lucky ones. They survived the ordeal. Their story of survival caught the attention of the international media because they were miraculously rescued after spending days pinned under the rubble of the collapsed hotel.

Mallorca, a casino employee, and Calabia, a security guard, were pulled out of the rubble 11 days after the earthquake. Mallorca said she survived by drinking her own urine.

Dy was rescued after 14 days at a different section of the collapsed building. A cook and a gym instructor at the hotel, Dy said he survived by drinking the rainwater that seeped and flowed through the rubble.

The three survived but they will never forget the days they spent praying for help and rescue. Mallorca and Calabia said there was another man with them during their ordeal. They would talk to each other and pray together. Unfortunately, the man died about a week after the earthquake which was just four days before Mallorca and Calabia were rescued.

Dy recalled that for days after the earthquake, he would listen to voices around him calling for help. Sometimes, they would talk to each other in the dark. But as the days went by, these voices slowly dwindled and eventually stopped. According to estimates, 1621 people were killed by the earthquake, 3513 were injured, and 321 went missing.