MANILA, Philippines – At least ten (not 11 as earlier reported) people, including two children, were killed and several more went missing after a small motorbanca sank off an island in Iloilo province, a local official said early Thursday evening.
Concepcion town vice-mayor John Arcosa told GMANews.TV in a phone interview that only nine out of the 10 fatalities in MB Roliv have been identified, among those a six-year-old and a 10-year-old.
Arcosa identified the nine fatalities as:
Kana Caberoy, 6;
Jerson Caberoy, 10;
Antonio dela Cruz;
Carmen Padrillan, 60, relative of banca owner Rolly Padrillan;
Aida Libre, barangay midwife.
Arcosa said they are still trying to account for the rest of the ship’s 40 or so passengers, who are residents of Bagongon island which is under Concepcion town.
Authorities have transferred the survivors from Bagongon island to Concecpcion in the Iloilo mainland for treatment while the recovered bodies were turned over to their relatives, he said.
Arcosa said strong gusts of wind and big waves rocked the boat around 1:30 p.m. when it was about 200 meters away from the shoreline of Bagongon island.
The passengers, who were residents of the island’s Sitio Olpoc, just came from the mainland after buying rice because Thursday is “market day” for the island’s residents, he said.
“Kanina pauwi na itong boat na ito, kasama na yung mga galing sa bayanDumating itong bagyo, di namin alam na malakas ito. Ala-una lumakas yung alon,” said Arcosa.
2 other boats capsize
Arcosa said two other small boats carrying Bangongon island residents that just came from the mainland capsized because of the big waves, but no fatalities have been reported from those incidents.
The marine tragedy came in the wake of another sinking–MB Don Dexter Cathlyn, which capsized off Masbate Tuesday night, leaving at least 42 passengers dead and at least 10 more missing.
Iloilo province, among other areas in Luzon and Visayas, has been placed under public storm warning signal no. 1 due to tropical depression “Quinta,” which is packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
State weather forecasters have earlier advised that sailing amid the inclement weather would be risky for small marine vessels.
According to Office of Civil Defense – Western Visayas director Rosario Cabrera, the motorbanca should not have been sailing anymore because of the weather advisory.
“We are still awaiting for the detailed information because its Signal No. 1 here, it should not be sailing already,” said Cabrera. “As of 10 a.m. we received advisory from Pagasa. After the Coast Guard received it, travel of all ferry should be canceled already.”
“We retrieved nine bodies already. So far we have no report how many are missing and there was still no information as to the number of passengers,” he added.
Cabrera said the Coast Guard maintains a station in Concepcion, which he said has many island barangays. – Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV