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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesSaturday, December 8, 2012
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‘Pablo’ ruins 6 sea vessels

The Coast Guard station in Dumaguete City said yesterday that a power barge in Siquijor province and two commercial barges in Amlan, Negros Oriental, were damaged by typhoon “Pablo”.

This brought to six the number of sea vessels in Negros Oriental and Siquijor that were destroyed by the typhoon, latest Coast Guard reports said.

It said the LCT Tampi Twin and the LCT Georgia, both landing craft tank barges of the Maayo Shipping Inc., were dislodged from their mooring wharves in Tandayag, Tampi in Amlan at the height of the storm Tuesday.

The PCG detachment in Tandayag said that it was found during an ocular inspection, that the two barges were repositioned and grounded after strong winds and big waves slammed into the province.

No casualties were reported as the barges were empty then in many coastal areas in Negros Oriental late Tuesday when the typhoon headed for Dumaguete and nearby areas, the Coast Guard said.

The two commercial barges, plying the Negros Oriental-Cebu route across the Tañon Strait, had been moored as early as Monday when the PCG suspended all sea travel in anticipation of the typhoon.

The breast lines holding the barges in place at their respective mooring stations at the Tandayag Wharf gave due to the storm, releasing the vessels that were later beached, with one half sunk.

Repair work is now ongoing to determine leaks, pump out seawater and reposition the barges, but it was not immediately known when these will return to normal operations, the Coast Guard said.

Meanwhile, a power barge of the National Power Corporation servicing Siquijor was dragged by the storm from its mooring place in Lazi town and incurred some damage.

The short power utility barge that NAPOCOR deploys to areas that need additional power supply had been deployed earlier to Siquijor from Bantayan Island in Cebu to address the power deficit of Siquijor.

The PCG said it is trying to determine if it is safe to tow the power barge back to its original mooring area.

Power supply had been cut off in Siquijor when the power barge was damaged, with the Province of Siquijor Electric Company working to restore and ration electricity to consumers.

The Coast Guard has asked operators of the Maayo Shipping Inc. and the NAPOCOR power barge to file their protests with the Maritime Industry Authority before the vessels are allowed to resume operations.*JFP

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