Scouters rescued, stranded passengers allowed to sail

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LEGAZPI CITY (26-Oct-2012/PNA) – Some 60 high school boys and girls scouts who were out on a three-day camping activity in a hilly portion of Sitio Malangka in Barangay Taysan here were rescued Wednesday night by a team from the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (CDRRMC) when heavy downpour and gusty winds triggered by Tropical Storm Ofel prevented them to safely leave the place.

The scouters were from the high school department of the private school College of Arts and Technology (CAT) in this city.

Meanwhile, at least 2,522 stranded passengers from Bicol’s nine ports were already allowed to sail on Friday, the regional Office of Civil Defense (OCD) inside Camp General Simeon Ola here reported.

Most of them were at the Matnog port with 1,600; Tabaco City with 346; Masbate with 300; Pilar, Sorsogon with 168; San Andres, Catanduanes with 58; and Pasacao and Sabang ports in Camarines Sur with 50. At least 190 assorted vehicles were held at these ports.

Classes in the pre-school up to high school were suspended on Thursday in Albay, while in Camarines Sur the suspension covered only pre-school and elementary levels.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda also ordered the “no sailing policy” for the fishermen in Albay due to the gale warning issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) since Wednesday.

Power cut-off was also experienced in some parts of Albay, Camarines Sur and Masbate at the height of the lashings of Ofel Thursday night until Friday morning.

Meanwhile, a policeman died on the spot when his owner-type jeep rammed into an onrushing bus of the Antonina Bus Line while traversing the slippery bridge in Padang, Legazpi City before nightfall on Wednesday.

Superintendent Oscar Regala, Legazpi City police chief, identified the victim as Senior Police Officer 1 Benwart Belches, of Barangay 17 here.

Benwart was on his way home from his assignment in the Malilipot police station before the accident.

Regala said bus driver Reynaldo Tubunan, 56, a resident of Atimonan, Quezon, immediately surrendered to the Legazpi police after the accident.

He said appropriate charges were already being prepared against the bus driver. (PNA)

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