A Tragedy

Last August 16, passenger ship MV Saint Thomas Aquinas of 2Go and Sulpicio Express Siete of Sulpicio Lines collided off the coast of Talisay City.  While the cargo ship only sustained a severe damage, the passenger ship sank a few minutes after the collision. Immediately after the collision and sinking, at least three hundred people were reported missing and more than 60 perished. Dozens were injured.

In the midst of the rescue operations, authorities warned of an equally horrible news. Oil has started to leak from the sunken ship. And due to the habagat, the spill is quickly spreading to the neighboring islands of Mactan and Cordova.

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Oil spill in Cordova

But before anything else, here are some Internet photos of the horrible collision. Please be warned, though. Some photos are sensitive and not for the faint of heart.

Sulpicio Express Siete with a badly damaged bow.

The cargo ship and some traces of oil from the sunken passenger ship.

A rescued mother and her baby. According to reports, there were more than 50 children on board the passenger ship.

An oil-coated body was retrieved from the sea.

Several bodies washed up in Cordova days after the collision.

Last Friday, I decided to visit Cordova to see the spill with my own eyes. Here are some of my hearthbreaking phone photos.

Barangay Bangbang, Cordova

Poor crabs.

Oil-coated mangroves.

The low tide revealed the gravity of the situation.

Oily mess.

Black mangroves.

Oil completely covering the roots of the mangroves. Mangroves ‘breathe’ through their roots.

Fibers ready to be stuffed to help stop the spill from spreading.

Barangay Day-As

Barangay Day-As is probably the most badly affected barangay. Here is the clean up activity in the area.

The PNP, Coast Guard, AFP, and Day-As locals working together.

Oil spill reaching the scenic Day-As boardwalk.

Coast guard manually scrubbing the trunk of affected mangroves.

Chemicals and materials needed for the clean-up.

Black and sticky.

The Day-As Heritage and nature trail. Sad.

Locals stuffing sacks with saw dust.

Sad.

Policemen using a special type of paper to absorb the oil.

Locals helping out.

Stocking stuffed with cloth and coconut husk.

Soda bottles to keep the bags afloat.

The Lantaw floating restuarant trying to keep the oil spill out.

Barangay Buagsong

Cordova’s bakasi capital is also affected by the spill.

Swimming not allowed.

Hope things get better soon. And big thanks to all the guys who helped out.

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