BY SHIELA G. GELERA
The body of a minor who went swimming with friends in a river in Bacolod City Wednesday was found in Talisay City, Negros Occidental at about 6 a.m. yesterday.
Geoffery Gutierrez, head of the Talisay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, identified the fatality as Janet Rodriguez, 16.
Still missing are Rodriguez’s male and female friends, aging 15 and 17 years old.
Gutierrez said the group of friends, who were all minors, decided to swim in the Simulong River, in Abkasa, located near the boundary of Brgy. Mandalagan in Bacolod and Talisay, at about 1 p.m. Wednesday.
A flash flood hit the group at around 3 p.m., and three were able to swim ashore.
The survivors told rescuers that the flash flood came from a higher portion of the river.
Scattered rainshowers were experienced in parts of Negros Occidental and Bacolod Wednesday, and the minors may have not been aware that flash floods coming from mountainous areas could happen, Gutierrez said.
Rodriguez’s body was found in Purok Tumpok, Barangay Zone 15 in Talisay City, while search and retrieval operation were still ongoing for the two other missing minors, he added.*