Fishing vessel with 30 crew missing in CatanduanesBy Mar S. Arguelles
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines — A fishing vessel with 30 crew members has been missing since Friday off Baras, Catanduanes, but a search and rescue operation could not be mounted immediately because of rough seas and bad weather, an official of the Office of Civil Defense in Bicol said Saturday.
The fishing vessel sailed on Tuesday from Bato town, also in Catanduanes, and was expected to be back home on Friday, according to Bernardo Alejandro, OCD regional director and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council chairperson.
Alejandro, citing a report from the disaster office in Catanduanes, said the boat might have run out of fuel and drifted somewhere off the coast of Barangay (village)Agdan in Baras.
A search-and-rescue operation cannot be mounted due to rough seas, he said, adding that the Catanduanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has issued an advisory to all coastal village officials in the area to be on the lookout for the missing vessel and provide the necessary assistance.
In Camarines Sur, the provincial disaster management council reported that a six-hour power interruption was experienced in the province from midnight Friday until 6:30 a.m. Saturday but which could not be attributed to outage due to bad weather as no fallen electric post or other such problem was reported.
The Philippine Coast Guard in Bicol said that the “no sailing” order it issued before Ambo developed into a tropical storm on Friday was still in effect and that there were still 650 passengers, 28 trucks, seven cars and six buses stranded in the ports of Tabaco in Albay and Virac and San Andres in Catanduanes as of 6 a.m. Saturday.
Alejandro said in an interview that all affected local disaster councils and other officials in the Bicol region were still on high alert.