Fishermen missing in Catanduanes, Northern Samar
The Philippine Coast Guard said nine fishermen have been missing in Catanduanes, an official told dzBB Sunday.
One fisherman died, while three remained missing when they went out to sea despite a gale warning, the Northern Samar Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) said Sunday.
“As of 1:11 pm, we have recovered one cadaver at the area of San Jose, but the identity of the cadaver is still being verified,” local DRRMO officer Freddie Arandia told The Daily Manila Shimbun.
“A while ago, a family member from Laoang, (Northern) Samar went to the (Philippine Army 803rd Infantry) brigade to ask for help. Based on the description of the missing person by the relative, the identity matches the sighting in San Jose. But still, for now, it is still under verification,” he added.
Arandia said they still could not confirm the total number of missing fishermen and their identities.
“So far, we are still working on confirming the identities. Like the one in Catarman. A fisherman was reported missing in Catarman on (December) 23, but we learned that he had already gone home. So we are still verifying whether there are really three or four missing fishermen,” he said.
According to Arandia, the search and rescue retrieval operations for the missing fishermen started two days ago.
Northern Samar PDRRMO head Josh Echano earlier told dzBB that these were four separate incidents that happened in the towns of San Roque, San Isidro, and Palapag, Northern Samar.
Echano said: “The reason for this is, of course, the gale warning. There were waves that were as high as two to 4 meters. The small fishermen tried to find food for their families during the holiday season, so they went to sea despite the gale warning.”
Echano said two fishermen who went fishing in San Roque Saturday were unable to return to their homes.
He said the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said they could not conduct search and rescue operations in San Roque due to high waves.
“Their (PCG) response is that they could not conduct a search and rescue because of the high waves. So hopefully, by this day, we will assess the situation again based on the recommendation to the Municipal DRRM (Disaster Risk Reduction and Management) Office in San Roque because our personnel are on standby for the search and rescue operation,” he said.
Echano said they have alerted all DRRMOs in Sorsogon and Samar if a fisherman gets lost.
In Palapag, two bancas had collided but six two eight people were saved from the incident while two were still missing, Echano said.
Echano said a fisherman in San Isidro was also rescued on a nearby island, as well as two others that were swept away by waves.
In an 11 am advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the shear line affecting Visayas on Sunday is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains and at times intense rains over Eastern Visayas and three areas.
Moderate to heavy rains will be experienced in Visayas, Caraga, and two other areas. Rain-induced landslides and flooding are likely, the state weather bureau said. Jaspearl Tan/DMS