18 Tacloban fishermen missing
TACLOBAN CITY— No less than city Mayor Alfred Romualdez made the announcements over radio station DyBR here on Wednesday evening (Oct. 24) that at least 18 fishermen separately on board five fishing bancas, all from San Jose of this city, were missing when the sea crafts capsized after having been caught by strong winds and very rough sea brought about by typhoon Ofel.
Mayor Romualdez, who personally led the rescue operation off Dio Island, disclosed that they were able to rescue at least 10 persons who were caught by the strong winds near the island.
But sadly, he said, five more fishing bancas with at least 18 fishermen on board separately in their respective banca sank off Dio Island.
Romualdez said that the rescue team,tried did everything to save the fishermen when the rescue team saw the bancas capsized due strong winds, very rough sea and big waves. But bad weather hampered their effort to rescue.
As of press time, no new information yet about the 18 people missing, except that as the weather settles favorably, search and rescue operation shall be conducted immediately, said, Mayor Romualdez.
The mayor also received information that two fishing vessels from San Jose, Tacloban also got lost off Homonhon Island in Guiuan Eastern Samar.
On Wednesday evening, at least 500 people were evacuated to Tacloban Astrodome mostly from coastal barangays and from flooded low lying areas- while others were evacuated to public schools near their respective barangays. Tacloban has 138 barangays, with some villages prone to landslides especially in the north. Relief cooked food were immediately given to all evacuees in the various evacuation centers, including medicines, said Romualdez.
Power were interrupted as electric poles were either uprooted or fell broken, power lines were also cut and entangled in the streets which caused prolonged power outage. Trees, bananas, were also fallen and blocked roads. However, the same was cleared immediately by the engineering team.
On the other hand, the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office led by retired Col. Salvador “Buddy” Estudillo, revealed that in many barangays the alert level has reached- third level which means waistline deep of flood water.
Many regional passenger vehicles cancelled their trip to avoid being trapped with flood and other similar obstacles that may hamper the trip. As of press time, the regional of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) led by Director Rey Gozon is on the process yet of gathering and consolidating more reports regarding destructions brought about by typhoon Ofel. (FRED PADERNOS)
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