MANILA, Philippines – The fishing boat Gem-Ver – which figured in an incident last June in the West Philippine Sea – got damaged again, this time due to the onslaught of Typhoon Ursula.
Photos uploaded on Facebook by the municipal government of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, on Thursday, December 26, showed Gem-Ver flipped belly-up along the shore. Other photos showed Gem-Ver beside another damaged boat.
The local government said in a separate video post that Gem-Ver "suffered another tragedy" months after its fishermen reinforced and restored it following a ramming incident involving a Chinese vessel off Recto Bank in the West Philippine Sea on June 9. (READ: THE SINKING OF GEM-VER: Barko! May babanggang barko!)
Photo from LGU San Jose, Occidental Mindoro Facebook page
"Dahil sa lakas ng alon at hangin, walang kalaban-labang itinumba ito sa dalampasigan. Labis ang kalungkutan ni Ginoong Felix Dela Torre, ang may ari ng bangka, dahil sa insidenteng ito," the Facebook page wrote.
(Because of the strong waves and winds, the boat was helplessly turned over on the shore. Mr Felix dela Torre, the owner of the boat, is deeply saddened by this incident.)
In a phone call to Rappler, San Jose Mayor Romulo Festin said the boat suffered "medyo (somewhat) heavy damage" but was "repairable."
Ursula batters San Jose
Festin said that San Jose was battered by strong winds and heavy rainfall brought by Typhoon Ursula. He noted that some boats, trees, and lightposts were strewn on the highway, and light materials from structures were also blown away.
"Iyong mga puno na hindi natibag ni Yolanda at ni Tisoy, naitumba ni Ursula," added Festin, referring to two typhoons that hit their town in the past. (The trees that weren't uprooted during [typhoons] Yolanda and Tisoy, Typhoon Ursula brought down.)
The mayor said they are currently assessing the extent of the damage in San Jose so that they could give financial assistance to affected residents accordingly.
He also said he would ask support from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Mimaropa for the town's fishermen. Assistance from the private sector would also be appreciated, Festin added. – Rappler.com
Michael Bueza is a researcher and data curator under Rappler's Research Team. He works on data about elections, governance, and the budget. He also follows the Philippine pro wrestling scene and the WWE. Michael is also part of the Laffler Talk podcast trio.