Friday, June 10, 2011

NDRRMC: 26 fishermen missing off Pangasinan

By GMA News, Friday, June 10, 2011

(Updated 9:25 a.m.) At least 26 fishermen aboard a fishing vessel were reported missing after venturing into the Spratlys area but failing to return late Thursday afternoon, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Friday.

The NDRRMC said the fishing boat “3MS WOF" may have encountered stormy seas.

In its 6 a.m. Friday report, the NDRRMC said the fishermen "were believed to be heading back to Bolinao in Pangasinan."

In an interview on GMA News TV's News To Go Friday morning, Office of Civil Defense Administrator Benito Ramos confirmed the 26 fishermen were declared missing late Thursday after they failed to come back to shore at the expected time.

"Dapat makakabalik sila sa Bolinao mga 6:30 p.m. Nawalan sila ng contact mga 3:30 p.m. Pabalik na sana sila... siguro nasalubong ang bagyo...," Ramos said.

According to Ramos, two planes and two ships from the Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Navy have been deployed for the search-and-rescue operation.

"Maaga pa lang, nag-deploy na ang Coast Guard at Navy ng dalawang eroplano at dalawang barko para sa paghahanap ng mga mangingisda," he added.

On Thursday afternoon, Pangasinan was placed under Storm Signal No. 1 due to tropical cyclone Dodong. Also placed under the same storm signal were Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.

The storm signal in all these areas was lifted Friday morning, as Dodong, which intensified into a storm, moved towards China.

According to the NDRRMC, the Office of the Civil Defense in the Ilocos Region has already coordinated with the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard for possible search and rescue operations.

However, bad weather conditions made a search-and-rescue operation impossible as of late Thursday.

"Once the sea calms down, (a) rescue boat of (the Philippine Coast Guard) and the Philippine Navy will proceed to the area immediately. A Navy boat and a PCG helicopter will be deployed to conduct search and rescue [operations on Friday]," the NDRRMC said.

The Coast Guard detachment in Sual, Pangasinan is made ready for search-and-rescue operations. A helicopter was set to conduct aerial surveys.

For its part, the Philippine Navy alerted boats at the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and the Batanes area to monitor any boat sending distress signals.

A Navy patrol boat and plane were on standby at the SBMA.

On the other hand, the Department of Social Welfare and Development had made ready P25.41 million worth of relief supplies in areas along Dodong's path.


As of 6 a.m. Friday, the NDRRMC said the death toll from Dodong remained at two, including 10-year-old Mark Daniel Ken Mateo of Batangas City; and Alejandra Mortel, 56, of San Agustin town in the island province of Romblon.

The NDRRMC said Dodong also affected 167 families or 499 people from Batangas City.

In Metro Manila, a family of five was evacuated from Laura Drive in Bagumbayan in Taguig City due to floods.

The Taguig City disaster risk reduction and management council also requested a water pump to flush out the water in the area.

Meanwhile, weather conditions improved in Metro Manila on Friday, allowing the military to conduct a dress rehearsal at Luneta Park in Manila for Sunday’s celebration of the 113th Independence Day.

The soldiers conducted their rehearsal as early as before 7 a.m., radio dzBB’s Carlo Mateo reported.

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