ILOILO CITY -- The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) continues its search and rescue operations for two more passengers of M/V Tawash that capsized in Iloilo Strait around 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
The passenger banca, carrying 36 passengers, took off from the Parola wharf bound for Jordan, Guimaras when it capsized due to big waves, according to initial investigation of the PCG Iloilo station.
The death toll rose to seven following the death of Mary Ann Gallego this morning. Other fatalities included Ruben Gania, Larry Abella, Cora Ganila, Cristine Vasquez, Luke Matta and Mark Matta.
The missing passengers who are still subject to rescue operations are CJ Gamotia and Shyne Matta.
Other passengers were successfully rescued by responding search and rescue teams.
The PCG also recovered the capsized pumpboat near Barangay Tacay in Buenavista, Guimaras around 10.am. Monday.
Meantime, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog summoned the commander of the PCG-Western Visayas to explain why the motorized banca was allowed to ply the Iloilo-Guimaras route despite PAGASA’s gale warning advisory in the wake of typhoon Lando’s lashing of Northern Philippines.
Iloilo and Guimaras did not have typhoon signals but Lando’s massive cloud band of 650 kilometers radius was enough to produce stormy weather conditions in Western Visayas region. (PNA)