LEGAZPI CITY(PNA) – At least 14 health personnel under the Nurse Deployment Program (NDP) of the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol were rescued on Saturday by members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) when their motorized boat capsized after being smashed by big waves off the coast of Rapu-Rapu town in Albay.
Gremil Naz, Office of Civil Defense (OCD)-Bicol spokesperson, said rescued were 13 nurses, a midwife, and two boatmen.
Naz said the DOH-NDP team was deployed in Rapu-Rapu island, and was on its way back to Legazpi City when the accident took place.
“But they were all rescued and no casualty,” Naz said on Sunday.
Ayra Bataller, head of the Rapu-Rapu Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO), said the boat locally called “kumpit”, capsized when it was battered by strong waves and winds, shattering the vessel’s bamboo outriggers.
“We call this sudden deterioration of a local sea weather condition as ‘tribunada.’ It is a dangerous sea condition,” Naz quoted Bataller as saying.
State weathermen had issued a warning of very rough seas due to the combined effects of the prevailing surge of the northeast monsoon in Bicol and tropical depression Vicky.
Moderate to heavy rains, at times turning torrential, had caused flooding in low-lying areas of Bicol since Saturday.