GENERAL SANTOS CITY: The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is closely monitoring the movements of fishing vessels from this city that were operating in the country’s eastern seaboard in the wake of the approaching super typhoon “Ruby.”
Lt. Jay Tarriela, commander of the PCG station here, said they are currently working with local fishing companies to determine the exact location of their fishing vessels and boats that earlier sailed to the eastern Pacific seaboard.
He said they earlier directed all fishing companies based in the city to recall their deployed fishing vessels and boats to the nearest ports as a precaution against the onslaught of the typhoon.
“We expect that all fishing companies have complies with the recall order and we’re hoping that their fishing boats have already reached the ports by now or other safer areas,” he said in an interview with a local television station.
For fishing boats that are still within the high seas, Tarriela said they directed the fishing companies to inform their crew to withdraw from seas of the east of Mati in Davao Oriental.
As of 7 a.m. Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) said super typhoon Ruby was spotted at 455 kilometers east of Borongan in Eastern Samar.
Typhoon Ruby, which also known by its international code name Hagupit, packs maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 250 kph.
A total of 18 areas have been placed under storm signal no. 2 and 16 others under signal no. 1 due to the effects of the tropical cyclone, which has entered the super typhoon category.
Aside from the PCG, the city government has been also monitoring the status and movements of fishing vessels and boats from the city to avert another tragedy similar to what happened during typhoon Pablo in 2012.
Some 372 fishermen, mostly from this city, went missing and presumed dead by now following the onslaught exactly two years ago of typhoon Pablo.
The fatalities were crew members of around 50 fishing boats that were caught in the eye of the typhoon.
Of the 372 who went missing, only 18 bodies were recovered by government-led search and retrieval teams.
City Mayor Ronnel Rivera said his office earlier called up and alerted all fishing companies based in the city regarding typhoon Ruby.
“We reminded them to ensure that that their fishing crew members are protected as well as properly informed and aware about the coming typhoon,” he added. PNA