DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines — A passenger craft was reported missing while power black out hit Dumaguete City as typhoon “Pablo” unleashed its wrath in Siquijor and parts of Negros Oriental late Tuesday afternoon.
A search and rescue operation was underway to look for Delta 1 and its six crew members on board.
Reports monitored by VHF radio from the Philippine Ports Authority office in Larena, Siquijor said they lost contact with the Delta 1 as the vessel took shelter in Sabang, Siquijor, after big waves spawned by typhoon Pablo kept slamming the boat against the pier.
Monet Raymundo, operations manager of Delta Fastferries Corporation, said they were still verifying the report but confirmed that they had lost contact with the vessel, skippered by Capt. Neil Abe.
Raymundo said they were looking forward to proceeding to Siquijor upon getting clearance from the Philippine Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard has banned all sea craft from sailing to and from Dumaguete after Negros Oriental was placed under Storm Signal Number 3.
Strong winds and intermittent heavy rains were being felt in Dumaguete as the eye of the storm was expected to pass Dumaguete Tuesday night. In its 4 p.m. bulletin, the weather bureau placed the eye of the storm 60 kilometers southwest of Dumaguete.
Power was out in Dumaguete City but cell phone companies continued to give Internet connectivity.
Reports monitored from volunteer communicators from the Negros Oriental Radio Amateurs of District 7, Inc. (NORAD-7) indicated that several trees had fallen, blocking some roads.
Dumaguete Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria has dispatched teams across the City to help victims of the typhoon.
Sagarbarria said many of these teams were equipped with chainsaws, as falling trees have been anticipated.
Some creeks have also overflowed.
A tight watch was being kept on the Banica River in Dumaguete and the Ocoy River in Sibulan, which overflowed during tropical storm Sendong last year, killing several persons and destroying millions of pesos worth of property.