At least 12 people were killed and 47 were rescued after three motor bancas sank within three hours of each other on Saturday in the Iloilo-Guimaras Strait due to strong monsoon winds.
According to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), 12 people were killed out of the 78 passengers on board the three boats. Three of the 47 rescued are in critical condition.
The first two incidents happened when MB Che-che and MB Keziah —carrying a total of 51 passengers and crew members — capsized at around 12:15 p.m., resulting in 10 people drowning and 41 being rescued.
MB Che-che was bound for Guimaras from Iloilo, while MB Keziah was going the other way, from Guimaras to Iloilo, according to Donna Magno, head of the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Five of the bodies were brought to Guimaras, while the other five to Iloilo. She said all passengers in the first two incidents have already been accounted for.
The third pump boat was MB Jennyville, which was carrying 38 passengers and crew when it sank at around 3 p.m. At least one person has so far died from that incident.
Authorities are still trying to look for other passengers in the third sinking.
"After the first incident, there was a cancellation of trips kaya nagulat kami nung dumating sa amin na may second incident," said Magno, adding that an investigation is already ongoing to determine how the third boat managed to stil lset sail despite the first two bancas capsizing.
Search and rescue operations are ongoing for the third capsized boat. The PRC said 43 victims were undergoing psychosocial therapy.
Local authorities have released a partial list of survivors:
Relatives of the victims can reach the Iloilo City DRRMC through the following numbers:
The incidents happened amid bad weather brought by a low pressure area east of the country and the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat). — MDM, GMA News