‘Odette’ sinks cargo ship, 11 In­dian crew miss­ing


TROP­I­CAL Storm “Odette” (in­ter­na­tional name: Kha­nun) crossed the West Philip­pine Sea and out of the Philip­pine Area of Re­spon­si­bil­ity (PAR) but not be­fore dump­ing rain in parts of Lu­zon, in­clud­ing Metro Manila, and caus­ing a cargo ship to sink with 11 of its crew still miss­ing. The 33,205- ton Emer­aldS­tar with 26 In­dian na­tion­als on board sent a dis­tress sig­nal early Fri­day as the Hong Kong-reg­is­tered ves­sel was sail­ing some 280 kilo­me­ters (174 miles) east of the north­ern tip of the Philip­pines, said a state­ment from the Ja­panese coast­guard, which re­ceived the dis­tress sig­nal. Three other ves­sels sail­ing near the area res­cued 15 crewmem­bers but 11 oth­ers were still miss­ing, a Ja­panese coast­guard spokesman said, adding that the cargo ship had sunk.

“We have dis­patched two pa­trol boats and three planes to the site but a ty

spokesman added.

The Philip­pine At­mo­spheric Geo­phys­i­cal As­tro­nom­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion (Pa­gasa) said that as of 5 p.m. on Fri­day, Odette was 205 kilo­me­ters (km) west of Si­nait, Ilo­cos Sur. It packed max­i­mum winds of up to 90 kilo­me­ters per hour (kph) and gusti­ness of up to 113 kph. Rain­fall was still ex­pected to be mod­er­ate to heavy within Odette’s 400-km di­am­e­ter.

The trop­i­cal storm was fore­cast to move west-north­west at 15 kph. Ilo­cos Norte, Ilo­cos Sur, La Union, Batanes, Babuyan Group of Is­lands and Pan­gasi­nan were placed un­der Sig­nal No. 1 while the storm sig­nal in Ca­gayan, Is­abela, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Ifu­gao and Benguet has been low­ered, ac­cord­ing to Pa­gasa. Pa­gasa warned of rains with gusty winds over ar­eas un­der Sig­nal no. 1. The Na­tional Dis­as­ter Risk Re­duc­tion and Man­age­ment Coun­cil (NDRRMC) raised a “blue alert” on Fri­day.

A “blue alert” means mem­ber agen­cies of the NDRRMC will con­duct 24/7 mon­i­tor­ing of “Odette,” which re­mains in­side the Philip­pine Area of Re­spon­si­bil­ity (PAR).

These agen­cies are the Pa­gasa, the Depart­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment ( DILG), the Depart­ment of So­cial Wel­fare and Devel­op­ment (DSWD), the Depart­ment of Health (DoH), Bureau of Fire Pro­tec­tion (BFP), the Armed Forces of the Philip­pines (AFP), Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice (PNP) and Philip­pine Coast Guard (PCG).

The NDRRMC also held its Emer­gency Re­sponse Pre­pared- ness Re­sponse meet­ing, which the Na­tional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Author­ity (NEDA), Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion (DOTr), Depart­ment of Public Works and of Civil De­fense (OCD) at­tended.

In its ini­tial report on “Odette” yes­ter­day, the NDRRMC said there were seven non- pass­able bridges in the prov­inces of Is­abela and Ca­gayan.

These were the Ali­cao­cao Over­flow bridge in Cauayan City, Is­abela, which has not been pass­able since Wed­nes­day; Sta. Maria Maria, Is­abela; and Sto. To­mas To­mas, Is­abela, which have not been pass­able since Thurs­day.

In Ca­gayan Val­ley, four bridg- es were de­clared not pass­able since Thurs­day.

These were: Ba­gunot and Abusag bridges in Bag­gao, Ca­gayan; and Tawi and Cabasan bridges in Peñablanca, Ca­gayan.

At 12:40 a.m. Fri­day, “Odette” made land­fall over Santa Ana, North­ern Ca­gayan and slightly in Mod­er­ate to heavy rain were fore­cast in Zam­bales and Bataan, which may trig­ger flash­floods and land­slides while the western sec­tions of Cen­tral and North­ern Lu­zon, in­clud­ing Metro Manila, the Visayas and Zam­boanga Penin­sula will still ex­pe­ri­ence scat­tered light to mod­er­ate rains with thun­der­storms.

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