8 dead, 81 missing on southern Palawan island after ‘Vinta’

December 27, 2017 - 10:22 AM
Mangsee Island residents repair their home after tropical storm Vinta's rampage though southern Palawan. (photo by Capt. Wanel Ansa of MBLT4/via PNA)

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — Tropical Storm Vinta left eight persons dead and 81 others missing on an island in Balabac, Palawan’s southernmost town, authorities said.

The death toll, as of Tuesday afternoon, rose from the initial three after five bodies were found near the coastline, Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office chief Mitra Tanjilani said in a text message.

Most of the missing are crew members of four trawlers — MVs Rosario, Lucas, Santa Valor, and Miguel — and a motorboat reported either lost at sea or totally damaged during Vinta’s onslaught on December 24.

Three pump boats reported to have sailed from the nearby town of Rizal are also missing but 19 crewmen survived, Tanjilani said.

The MDRRMO initially reported three dead and 30 people missing as “Vinta’ made landfall in southern Palawan.

But of the original 30 reported missing, 13 had been accounted for as of Tuesday and were being attended to by the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office.