5 fishers in Cebu defy warnings, lost-A A +A
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
CEBU CITY -- Two fishermen were stranded while five others were reported missing in separate boat accidents Monday morning in Daanbantayan town in northern Cebu.
The two bancas were hit by big waves while on their way to Barangay Kinatarcan in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island to get food supplies.
In the south, about 20 families living in a seaside village in Talisay City were rescued by barangay officials, after huge waves again pummeled their houses.
A southwest monsoon aggravated by Typhoon Gener (international codename: Saola) spawned the large waves.
According to Cebu Coast Guard Commander Rolando Punzalan, two bancas departed separately from Tangginggi Island, Madridejos last Monday morning.
One banca carried two men, Ramon Beringuel and Romy Barro, while the other banca had five passengers, whose names have yet to be verified, said Punzalan.
Strong waves reportedly carried Beringuel and Barro’s banca to Carnasa Island last Monday afternoon.
Based on their interview with barangay captain Marcos Guilbuena of Kinatarcan, Punzalan said, the fishermen took their chances and sailed as there were no supplies left on the island.
Based on the investigation of Cebu Coast Guard, the waves damaged the banca, causing it to submerge.
“However, it is still uncertain what happened to the other banca carrying the five fishermen. We are still searching for them,” said Punzalan.
Cebu Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) head Marivic Garces said the Capitol is ready to help, if needed, and is just waiting for word from Madridejos Mayor Salvador de la Fuente.
Madridejos Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (MDRRMC) vice chair Engr. Vivencio Licaros already sought the help of the town’s Bantay Dagat operatives for the search and rescue effort.
He said the ferry rides from the mainland to Bantayan Island only resumed on Tuesday after lunch, after the trips in the past two days were cancelled because of the bad weather.
Tangginggi Island, he said, is a sitio of Barangay Poblacion but located an hour’s pumpboat ride from the town proper. He said it is the home of some 20 families who depend on fishing.
In a separate incident, 24 Korean nationals going for a boat ride reportedly fell after their motor banca ran aground due to big waves Tuesday morning.
The motorbanca Eris departed from a private resort’s wharf and was on its way to Sitio Mangal, Punta Engaño for an excursion when large waves caused the boat to run aground in Sitio Malingin.
According to Punzalan, the banca’s hull reportedly cracked, causing it to submerge.
The banca departed at 9 a.m. but the Coast Guard received the report at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, he said.
The Koreans and their two-man crew swam safely to shore, which was near, said Punzalan in a phone interview.
But he said they may file charges against the banca’s operator for disobeying their advisory and putting the tourists at risk.
Based on their investigation, the banca was unregistered.
“They disregarded our warning signals and sailed despite the big waves,” said Punzalan. He will meet with the operator today.
Also on Tuesday, the Cebu Coast Guard allowed conventional vessels to sail, except those bound for Dipolog, Siquijor, and Leyte.
All fastcrafts were not yet allowed to leave port because of the rough seas, added Punzalan.
Meanwhile, officials in Barangay Poblacion, Talisay City led by barangay chief Teodoro Belleza rushed toward Sitio Kalubihan around 7 a.m. after some residents were reportedly trapped by huge waves.
Barangay Poblacion Councilor Christopher Gabriel Bonjoc told reporters that he, Belleza and other barangay officials immediately started rescuing the residents from their makeshift homes.
A woman was reportedly injured after she was hit by debris carried by the waves.
Bonjoc said that despite their warnings to the residents last Monday, when the waves were already large, some still returned to their homes.
Some residents in the area refused to leave their homes.
Bonjoc said their barangay is now contemplating on declaring a state of calamity due to the number of families affected by the waves.
The Talisay City Government has ordered the immediate release of relief goods to the affected families in Barangay Poblacion.
City Social Welfare Officer Felipa Solana said that as of Tuesday, about five houses were destroyed and about 81 others damaged in Barangay Poblacion, affecting more than 78 families.
In Barangay Dumlog, about 16 families were affected by last Monday’s storm surge. In Barangay Cansojong, about 26 families were forced to evacuate their homes due to huge waves.
In Barangay Tanke, about four families were affected while in San Roque, about 17 families were forced to not return to their homes until the waves subside.
Solana said the City Government sent rice and relief goods to the affected families Tuesday afternoon.
The Talisay City Council has also urged concerned department heads to immediately act on providing relief to affected persons.
Talisay City Councilor and Majority Floor Leader Rodi Cabigas told reporters he asked the City Engineering Department to account for the damage to infrastructure, including the sea wall in Barangays Dumlog and Poblacion.
Talisay City’s councilors also visited Sitios Kalubihan and Mahayahay in Barangay Poblacion, bringing with them rice and relief goods.
Typhoon Gener is moving north, but at a slow pace, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.
Neil Fernando, Pagasa Mactan weather specialist, revealed that Gener was east northeast of Basco, Batanes and moving at about seven kilometers per hour (kph) Tuesday.
Typhoon signal number 1 remains in effect in the provinces of Isabela, Kalinga and Apayao, while signal number 2 is up over Cagayan province and in the Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands.
The Batanes Group of Islands remains under signal number 3.
Cebu’s rain, winds and large waves are caused by the southwest monsoon, which Gener has reinforced.
Fernando advised those living in low-lying and coastal areas to watch out for sudden storm surges and big waves. (With Jill B. Tatoy and Oscar C. Pineda/Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 01, 2012.