Coast Guard teams hampered by debris

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THE Philippine Coast Guard Cebu station said it will continue retrieval operations  until their Manila office tells them to stop.

“There is still no time frame on when we’ll terminate retrieval operations. Their decisions will be consulted with us here in Cebu,” said Coast Guard commander Weniel Azcuna.

Azcuna said their team of technical divers surveyed 60 percent of the ship’s cabins but their work had been complicated by debris.

Calvin Rosellosa, 2GO Ormoc manager who was assigned to supervise daily cleanup operations in Cordova, said there’s a significant reduction in the volume of the oil spill

“Our problem now is the people in the community that are affected by the incident,” he said.

2GO hired 140 local fisher folk in Cordova to help in the cleanup.

Rosellosa said they noted that seven barangays were affected  in contrast to Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy’s statement that 12 or 13 barangays were hit by the oil spill.

Jute sacks filled with coconut husks were used to soak the oil sheen found in the Cordova shoreline.

The sacks are tied to buoys made of empty gallon bottles to keep them afloat and prevent them from polluting the seas.

2GO assistant vice president Lito Salvio said Dr. Resureccion Sadaba, manager of the University of the Philippines Iloilo Oil Spill Response Program, will arrive on Thursday or Friday this week to assist in dealing with the oil spill.

The Coast Guard also said they have recorded 733 survivors, 629 of whom were passengers and the rest were crew members.

There are also 80 casualties, 51 missing and six unaccounted passengers.

“Right now, we can’t validate if the six unaccounted passengers are survivors or still missing. There are no family members looking for them but they are listed in the manifest,” Azcuna said.

There are still 11 passengers confined in Cebu City hospitals. Correspondent Jose Santino S. Bunachita 

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