CAMP ELIAS ANGELES, Pili, Camarines Sur – A small boat capsized due to the strong waves caused by typhoon Basyang at around 2:00pm in Catanduanes, a military official said.
LtCol Danilo Aquino, Commander of the 83rd Infantry Battalion based in Catanduanes island said that he received a report from his soldiers in the field that a motorized banca carrying 9 people capsized in the high seas as it attempted to hit shore at late afternoon today (13 July).
Aquino immediately dispatched soldiers to help in the rescue efforts together with the PNP and local residents.
Rescuers found one survivor identified as Romualdo Trinidad in Hiyop village of Pandan town.
Eight of Trinidad’s companions remained missing as of this time. Aquino identified the missing persons as Rolando Trinidad, Nestor Lopez, Dante Bermejo, Arnulfo Castella, Gener Agupitan, Sonny Tupis, Albert Regalado and Jojo Caballero.
Strong waves have prevented the conduct of search and rescue operations using watercraft.
Meanwhile, an unidentified resident sent a text message to 9ID’s public affairs office about the missing 11 other people in Bagamanoc town.
Colonel Leoncio Cirunay, Commander of the 22nd Infantry Battalion sent some CAFGU personnel to check the veracity of said text message but no one was found to confirm said report.
Electric power in Bagamanoc town was reportedly out as of 6:00pm thereby making it difficult to communicate through cellular phone.
Major General Ruperto R Pabustan, Commander of the 9th Infantry Division, has directed all brigades and battalions to closely monitor the situation around the Bicol Region as heavy downpour continued until in the evening.
“Our disaster response teams who have just finished their skills training a week ago will be put to good use during this time. I have ordered all field units to commit our soldiers and equipment to help the victims in their respective areas,” said Pabustan.