Friday, June 10, 2011

Storm 'Dodong' kills 2 more, 27 fishermen missing

By Angelo L Guiterrez
Philippine Star, Friday, June 10, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - Two more persons have been confirmed killed and 27 fishermen remained missing today as tropical storm "Dodong" started to exit the Philippines.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) identified in its 6 a.m. report today the fatalities as 10-year-old Mark Daniel Ken Mateo of Batangas City, whose body was recovered 1 p.m. yesterday and Alejandra Mortel, 56 of Sitio Kabangan, Barangay Carmen, San Agustin town in Romblon.

Reports yesterday said three people in North Cotabato also died due to drowning.

The NDRRMC added in its report that 26 fishermen on board a boat were reported missing. It said that the boat was returning to Bolinao in Pangasinan when they were hit by strong waves.

The agency said that the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) immediately formed search and rescue teams after being informed of the missing boat, but could not launch an operation because of the bad weather condition yesterday. It said that the search and rescue teams will be deployed as soon as the sea calms down.

The NDRRMC said a Navy boat and a helicopter from the PCG will be deployed today to look for the missing fishermen.

Another fisherman identified as Marcel Baroga was also reported missing after a sea mishap involving a barge loaded with soya beans in waters off Sariaya, Quezon.

In a separate report, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that "Dodong" intensified into a storm as it started to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

PAGASA said that as of 4 a.m., the storm was located 280 kilometers west northwest of Dagupan City or 300 kilometers west southwest of Laoag City.

It was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 80 kph. It was moving north northwest at a speed of 15 kph.

The weather bureau said that the storm may be already out of the PAR by noon today.

Public storm warning signals raised in Metro Manila, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Pangasinan and Cavite have already been lifted.

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