27 dead in Guimaras boat sinking incidents
At least 27 died in three separate incidents of boat sinking in Iloilo-Guimaras Sea Saturday afternoon, authorities said on Sunday
The local government of Guimaras said of the total 86 passengers, 27 died, six remained missing, while 53 survived.
“Report shows reduction in the total number of passengers due to intensive validation and verification of data sources,” it said.
In an emergency meeting called by Governor Samual Gumarin, the Guimaras Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office have put up a Joint Command Post located at the Guimaras-Iloilo Ferry Terminal to address the incidents that transpired on Saturday involving 86 passengers.
Reports said that M/B Chichi carrying 46 passengers and four crew members and M/B Kezia with four crew members capsized at around 12:15pm along the Guimaras-Iloilo route due to strong winds caused by the low pressure area.
Another boat, M/B Jenny Vince, sank at around 3:30pm with 40 passengers and five crew members.
All the crew members of the three boats survived, according to the local officials.
Search, rescue and retrieval operations have been ongoing while food packs and clothing have been distributed to stranded passengers.
Survivors were brought to hospital and psycho-social interventions were given to them.
“Priorities are now focused on the survivors and casualties. Their respective information are being tracked and monitored for proper documentation,” the local government said.
“Coordination with the city government and all hospitals is done to verify the casualties and be endorsed to their families, folks and transported back to their homes,” it added.
Trips are still suspended in the province and the riding public are being transported for free to and from Guimaras through the RoRo Wharf.
Local officials said they were still waiting for the result of the investigation on why the boats managed to sail despite the bad weather.
The Guimaras PDRRMC will convene on Monday to recommend to the 9th Sangguniang Panlalawigan the provision of immediate financial assistance and stress debriefing to survivors and the families of the casualties. Ella Dionisio/DMS