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Archive for June 23rd, 2008

NDCC confirms 57 survivors, 20 dead from ferry sinking

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By Joel Guinto, Katherine Evangelista
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 20:56:00 06/23/2008

MANILA, Philippines — Officials of the National Disaster Coordinating Council and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Monday evening that the number of survivors from the ill-fated Sulpicio Lines ferry MV Princess of the Star had risen to 57.

The number of confirmed deaths, on the other hand, rose to 20, after 16 bodies washed on shore, were recovered, also on Monday, the officials said.

A list released by the NDCC Monday evening listed the survivors as: Jessie Buot, Reynaldo Lanurias, Jesus Gica, Oliver, Amorin, Rey Paguin (Cebu), Danilo Deplanas (Cebu), Richie Tayuntong (Cebu), Gerry Palenor (Cebu), Philip Vasquez (Cebu), Uriel Laguban (Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur), Ralph Alain dela Peña (Cebu), Carlo Jason Aravis (Cebu), Rodel Laborte (Cebu), Phil Gilig (Cebu), Jose Marie Garbo (Cebu), Niño Lauros (Cebu), Rupert Tan (Cagayan de Oro City), Ciriaco Nuñez (Cebu), Fausto Colis (Bicol), Francisco Batula (Cubao); Vicente Beruas (San Mateo, Rizal);

Reynante Adina (Cebu), Exuperto Pendon (Cebu), Jonathan Pendon (Cebu), Susan Lisbo (Novaliches, Quezon City), Minerva Toremucha (Bohol), Antonio Cosep (Bantayan, Cebu), Ronnie Relatibo (Malate, Manila), Ruel Libot (Apas, Cebu); Estanislao Tura Jr. (Bantayan, Cebu), Nilo Dayogo (San Pedro, Laguna); and Jesserey Bianco (Cebu).

A list of survivors as well as the manifest of the ill-fated ferry is also available at the Sulpicio Lines website www.sulpiciolines.com.

The shipping line has also assigned the following Manila hotline numbers — 3821456 and 4745205 (look for Carmela or Maricar) — for inquiries on casualties and survivors of the mishap.

The Philippine Coast Guard identified one of the fatalities as Julie Q. Mendoza and said at least two of the recovered dead were children.

The Princess of the Star, carrying 849 passengers and crew, stalled due to engine trouble and capsized amid huge waves off the central province of Romblon on Saturday, the height of the onslaught of typhoon “Frank” (international codename: Fengshen), officials have said.

On Monday, twenty-eight survivors and a fatality were found in a lifeboat on the shoreline of Mulanay town in Quezon province, Commodore Luis Tuason, chief of the Metro Manila Coast Guard said.

On the same day, 25 survivors and 15 fatalities were found on the shores of Burias Island in Masbate province, said Captain Gilbert Rueras, who represented the Coast Guard at the NDCC’s Monday evening news briefing.

Quoting a local official, NDCC executive director Anthony Golez said the survivors were onboard life boats and were wearing life vests.

Mulanay and Burias Island are located northeast of the capsized vessel.

Four survivors and four fatalities were found washed ashore in San Fernando town, Romblon on Sunday, officials said.

Search and rescue operations of the Philippine Navy (PN) were suspended for the night due to big waves and the lack of night-capable equipment, spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.

It could not be immediately confirmed if the Coast Guard was also suspending its search for the night since the bad weather could endanger the lives of the rescuers.

“We’ll stop for the moment because of the big waves and because we don’t have night-capable equipment,” Arevalo said in a phone interview.

The Navy’s Patrol Ship 28, carrying rescue divers, medical equipment, and cadaver bags, will arrive on the scene early Tuesday, he said.

In an earlier interview, Arevalo said there were “no signs of life” after rescuers scoured the vicinity of the capsized ship on Monday morning.

“We approached the ship, we knocked on it [hull] in order to give us a sign if ever somebody is inside, [to tell them that somebody is outside to help them. We were hoping someone would knock [from the inside], unfortunately, there was none,” he said.

Meanwhile, the official casualty count due to floods triggered by “Frank” rose to 100 deaths, 63 of these confirmed, and 121 injured, Health undersecretary Mario Villaverde told the same NDCC briefing.

Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas

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Written by joelguinto

Mon+00:002008-06-23T15:48:42+00:00+00:0006b+00:00Mon, 23 Jun 2008 15:48:42 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm06

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‘No signs of life’ around ferry–Navy

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:56:00 06/23/2008

MANILA, Philippines –There are “no signs of life” around a capsized passenger ferry off the central province of Romblon on Monday, as rescue operations resumed, a spokesman for the Philippine Navy said.

Rescuers started their search at around 9 a.m., knocking on the exposed part of the hull of the M/V Princess of the Stars to check if people were trapped inside, but there was no response, Lieutenant Colonel Edgard Arevalo said.

“Rescuers knocked on the hull of the M/V Princess but [there are] no signs of life,” Arevalo told reporters.

“We approached the ship, we knocked on it [hull] in order to give us a sign if ever somebody is inside, [to tell them that somebody is outside to help them. We were hoping someone would knock [from the inside], unfortunately, there was none,” he said.

The ship had 724 passengers, 121 crew, and four sea marshals when it stalled due to engine failure and capsized in stormy waters amid the onslaught of typhoon “Frank” (international codename: Fengshen) on Saturday evening, Commodore Luis Tuason, chief of the Metro Manila Coast Guard, said.

Tuason corrected reports that the inter-island ferry, owned by
Sulpicio Lines, was carrying 626 passengers and 121 crewmen. The ship left Manila port on Friday evening, en route to Cebu City.

Tuason also said that it was unlikely that there were survivors trapped inside the ferry, since only 1/15 of the ship was above water.

“It’s not so high inside the ship,” Tuason told reporters, when asked for the chances of survival of the passengers and crew.

Tuason said there were greater chances for survival outside the ship, where survivors could have boarded life boats.

On Monday, 28 survivors on board a life boat were recovered in Mulanay town, in Quezon province, while another fatality was found, bringing the number of survivors to 32, and the number of confirmed deaths to five.

Tuason said the M/V Princess was listed as having life boats enough for
1,992 people, but could not immediately confirm if all its lifeboats wee on board at the time of the accident.

Two Navy patrol gunboats, a patrol ship, two helicopters, and a Navy
Islander plane have been deployed to the site of the capsized ship, to augment Coast Guard vessels, said Lieutenant General Cardozo Luna, Armed Forces Vice Chief of Staff.

A US Navy ship was also on its way from Okinawa, Japan to help in the search and rescue efforts, said National Disaster Coordinating Council
Executive Director Anthony Golez.

The casualty count has risen to 94 deaths, 67 injuries, and 92 missing, Golez told a news briefing in Camp Aguinaldo.

The tally does not include casualties from the M/V Princess of the Stars, which capsized off the central province of Romblon last Saturday, he said.

Of the 94 deaths, 59 are confirmed while 35 are unconfirmed, he said.

Asked why the casualty counts differed with that of the Red Cross, Golez said the NDCC tally was the official count, based on data from the Department of Health.

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Written by joelguinto

Mon+00:002008-06-23T06:48:18+00:00+00:0006b+00:00Mon, 23 Jun 2008 06:48:18 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am06

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28 more survivors recovered from capsized ferry

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By Joel Guinto
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 10:01:00 06/23/2008

MANILA, Philippines – Twenty-eight more people were recovered from a ferry that was overturned by strong waves caused by Typhoon “Frank” off the central province of Romblon, bringing the total number of survivors to 32, the commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard said Monday.

At the same time, another body was recovered, raising the number of deaths from the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars to five, said Vice Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo.

It was not immediately clear how the 28 survived, except that they were found as a group at a coastal town in Quezon province, said Tamayo.

Tamayo said the survivors could have taken a life raft.

Meanwhile, another fatality was recovered, although the exact location where the body was found was not immediately clear, Tamayo said, citing initial reports from the field.

On Sunday, a day after the M/V Princess of the Stars capsized, four fatalities and four survivors, who were washed ashore, were recovered, Tamayo said in a phone interview.

The ship, carrying 626 passengers and 121 crew, suffered engine trouble and was battered by big waves caused “Frank” (international codename: Fengshen), causing the ship to capsize on Saturday evening.

Asked if there was still hope for more survivors, Tamayo said: “Hindi ko matiyak iyan [I can’t say for certain]. We’ll try to deploy divers later today when the conditions permit.”

Two Coast Guard rescue ships, three Navy vessels, and two tugboats from owner Sulpicio Lines have been searching the area around the ship, Tamayo said.

In one instance on Sunday, rescuers hit a part of the exposed hull with a hammer, to check if survivors were trapped inside, but there was no response, the Coast Guard chief said.

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Written by joelguinto

Mon+00:002008-06-23T05:33:44+00:00+00:0006b+00:00Mon, 23 Jun 2008 05:33:44 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am06

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