Thursday, July 15, 2010

500 AFP Personnel Launched a Massive Rescue Operations in Bicol Region

CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – At least 500 AFP soldiers have joined the growing number of people who are scouring the high seas and beaches for clues about the 24 people who remained missing today, a military report said.

The Disaster Response Operations teams of the different battalions around the region have been deployed to find for survivors who may have been swept away to neighboring islands.

Militiamen who are detailed near seaside villages have also been tapped to locate the missing persons, concentrating their efforts in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes.

Using motorized bancas, Army soldiers have joined the Philippine Navy’s patrol crafts and two helicopters from the Philippine Airforce in trying to locate for additional survivors after the rescue of 8 people in Butauanan Island in Siruma, Camarines Sur yesterday at 3:00pm.

Siruma Mayor Sandy Ondis identified the rescued survivors as Ronnel Gillen, 32, Antonio Jurado, 41, Sonny Royol, 31, Dario Sereneo, 38, Marvin Fontanillas,19, Marlo Duringo, 21, Noel Boron, 31, Nelson Gillen, 40.

Ondis also said that Ramil Estabaya, 30, remains missing while Mar Gillen, 37, died of hypothermia.

The survivors were crew members of a large fishing boat which ventured out to sea on July 12, 2010 from Camarines Norte.

“These people did not really know that a typhoon was coming to Bicol areas so they decided to go fishing,” said Ondis who interviewed some of the survivors.

The 10-man crew members of the fishing boat came from different provinces. Three of them are from Quezon Province, 4 are from Camarines Norte and 3 are from Camarines Sur.

Arnel Ferrer of PDCC-Camarines Norte said that the 8 survivors are now confined in Bicol Medical Center in Naga City.

Ferrer also said that he has sent MDCC personnel from Vinzons town to confirm the actual number of missing persons from Calaguas Island where 4 people were reported missing by military sources yesterday.

Major General Ruperto R Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, has directed every brigade and battalion to extend transport assistance to the evacuees and during the delivery of relief goods in heavily affected areas.

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