Quantcast
Latest Stories

228 saved in Dumaguete sea mishap

‘Auring’ expected to exit Friday night

By

DUMAGUETE DRAMA Rescuers pull heavy ropes tied to a raft carrying passengers of the MV Zamboanga which ran aground some 50 meters away from Dumaguete City’s Rizal Boulevard on Thursday. Heavy seas spawned by Tropical Depression “Auring” forced the passenger ferry of George and Peter Lines to miss berthing at the Dumaguete pier. MELISSA ALEXANDRA PAL/INQUIRER VISAYAS

DUMAGUETE CITY—A passenger vessel ran aground Thursday after being hammered by strong winds and waves spawned by a tropical depression, but all 228 passengers—many of them students returning to this university town from the holidays—were rescued unharmed, authorities said.

“Auring,” the first weather disturbance of the year, slammed across Davao Oriental at midnight Wednesday and plodded across Northern Mindanao on its way out of the country Friday night.

Flooding sent 90 families fleeing to safer grounds in Dipolog City, said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) in Manila. An unidentified boy gathering driftwood was swept away in a swollen river and was declared missing, according to Mayor Edgardo Timbol of Kapalong in Davao del Norte.

The MV Zamboanga Ferry of the Cebu-based George & Peter Lines arrived from Zamboanga City and was docking at the Dumaguete port about 9 a.m. when the winds blew it toward the seafront Rizal Boulevard.

Capt. Anelito Gabisan, deputy commander of the Philippine Coast Guard-Central Visayas District, said the 850-ton vessel then ran aground about 15 meters from the port.

Initial efforts to drag the boat to deeper waters to enable it to restart its engines failed after the ropes tied to a forklift broke.

It took rescuers seven hours to bring 194 adults, 11 infants and 23 children to dry land on board life rafts, Gabisan said.

Georgia Felice Chiongbian-Rama, George & Peter vice president, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that all passengers had disembarked to safety by 4 p.m.

Many of the passengers were students of Dumaguete’s four universities who were returning from Christmas break.

The rescued passengers were given first aid at Rizal Boulevard and were brought to the passenger terminal of the Philippine Ports Authority.

“We were so afraid for our lives a while ago. Now, I can say we’re all OK,” said a grandmother from Manjuyod town who was traveling with her three grandchildren.

CPO Crispin Chiong of the Coast Guard said the ship captain, Roland Villarin, had recommended that the vessel, a roll-on roll-off ship with 14 crewmembers, wait out the storm’s fury and dock only after the winds and waves had subsided.

In a statement, Rama maintained the incident was caused by bad weather spawned by Auring.

“There is no truth to some reports that there was engine failure or that the ship ran aground, otherwise the vessel would not have been able to maneuver out of the port area,” Rama said.

Strong gusts

She said the ferry was attempting to dock at the Dumaguete port at 9 a.m. when strong gusts of wind estimated to be 34 kilometers per hour cut the mooring tiles. The winds and waves kept pushing the vessel towards the pier, she said.

To avoid collision with the pier, Villarin decided to maneuver the vessel out of the port area, Rama added.

She explained that the ferry’s captain wanted to wait until it was safe to dock.

“Unfortunately, strong winds pushed the vessel out to the Boulevard area where it is at present so we had to anchor down and quadruple-tie the vessel to Pier 6 to avoid hitting the Boulevard,” Rama said.

The low pressure area developed into a tropical storm and placed Dumaguete and the southern part of Negros island as well as Siquijor under Storm Signal No. 1 at 10 a.m.

The ferry,  built in Saiki, Japan, in 1974, is the biggest vessel in the George & Peter Lines fleet of ferries. It has a passenger capacity of a little over 700 and regularly plies the Cebu-Dumaguete-Dapitan-Zamboanga route.

Evacuation

Benito Ramos, NDRRMC executive director, said Auring caused Lubungan River to swell, prompting 90 families at Barangay (village) San Jose in Dipolog to evacuate.

“In some areas, the floodwaters reached neck-deep level that’s why residents were being evacuated to safer grounds,” Ramos told the Inquirer.

He said the Zamboanga Peninsula had been having light to moderate rain since Thursday morning.

Knee-deep floods also forced the local government units to close the main highways and a bridge in the municipality of Katipunan and other nearby towns in Zamboanga del Norte, Ramos added.

He said the council had also warned the municipalities in the southern section of Palawan that Auring could cause landslides and flooding.

 

Local disaster units

“But we are leaving it up to the local disaster management units to order preemptive evacuation in low-lying areas which may be affected by flooding,” Ramos said.

Ramos said he still had no casualty figures from Auring. More than 1,000 people died and another 800 went missing when Typhoon “Pablo” struck Mindanao on Dec. 4. Several dozen people were also killed in the aftermath of Tropical Storm “Quinta” last week. With reports from Carine Asutilla and Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas; Frinston L. Lim and Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao; and Marlon Ramos and Jerry E. Esplanada in Manila

First posted 12:01 am | Friday, January 4th, 2013


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


More Philippine Weather News

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Dumaguete City , Maritime Accidents , MV Zamboanga , NDRRMC , Regions , Tropical Depression Auring , Weather




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • Two Popes who would be saints
  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Sports

  • Duke freshman declares for NBA draft
  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • Lifestyle

  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • US stocks end mostly higher after earnings deluge
  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement