1 of 2
THE PHILIPPINE Coast Guard deployed one of its vessels Sunday to the island province of Siargao, where typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) made its first landfall Thursday last week, to transport residents and tourists to mainland Mindanao.
“This afternoon, 19 Dec. 2021, expect BRP Sindangan (MRRV-4407) to Siargao Island to travel residents and tourists to reach Surigao City. It will carry out consecutive transport missions, until necessary,” the Coast Guard said.
The mission was ordered by Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade following reports of stranded residents and tourists due to unavailability of commercial vessels.
The Coast Guard said most of the sea vessels that took shelter during the storm were still damaged.
“Most of these vessels are currently undergoing repairs. Others were washed onto shallow waters and are being salvaged so that these can resume operations,” it said in a statement in Filipino.
Similar operations are being readied for the Dinagat Islands province, where typhoon Odette made its second landfall.
Other Philippine Coast Guard ships have also been mobilized for the transport of relief goods and other materials needed for recovery work.
The Coast Guard said they are also coordinating with the major shipping companies for the possible deployment of vessels to help transport stranded passengers.
Dinagat Governor Arlene “Kaka” J. Bag-ao, in a post on her Facebook page, said all entry restrictions have been lifted as the province needs all the help it can get, but stressed the need to maintain minimum health protocols.
“If we will help, let us make sure that we will not put our loved ones in danger (from the coronavirus),” she wrote in Filipino. “If we survived the typhoon, we must also survive against the pandemic.”
She added, “our rules are suspended, but our health and safety standards must stay in place so we can protect our loved ones who already lost so much.”
Ms. Bag-ao said the provincial government has yet to reach all areas as some roads remain inaccessible. — MSJ