Strong wind, huge waves drag cargo vessel to wharf, 21 houses damaged—PCGBy Jerry Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Buffeted by strong winds and huge waves, a 362-ton cargo vessel on Monday drifted from the Zamboanga City wharf and hit a nearby residential area where it damaged at least 21 houses, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.
Citing a report from the PCG station in that city, the PCG headquarters in Manila on Tuesday said “fortunately, there were neither injuries nor casualties as a result of the incident” involving the steel-hulled ship LCT Tanag Tawi-Tawi.
“The owner of the vessel, Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahali, is willing to pay the damage,” the PCG also said in a report posted on its website.
According to PCG-Zamboanga City, most of the damaged houses, located along the coast of Barangay Mariki, were made of light materials.
It reported that “on Monday morning, while the LCT Tanag Tawi-Tawi was docked at the Mendiva private wharf in Rio Hondo, Zamboanga City, the vessel’s mooring lines were forcibly cut.”
“The ship’s crew tried to maneuver the vessel to safety, but due to the strong winds and big waves prevailing at the time, the ship drifted towards the seaside where the houses are located,” it said.
Dario Ponce, the vessel’s skipper, had asked the unnamed shipping company owned by Sahali to send tugboats to pull the ship back to the wharf “to no avail due to the prevailing low tide.”
“Accordingly, they will resume the retrieval operation during high tide,” the PCG added.