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Three crew members have died and several remain missing after a cargo ship ran aground in waters off Surigao del Norte amid a typhoon, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.

The LCT Cebu Great Ocean, loaded with nickel ore, ran aground along the shoreline of Barangay Cantapoy, Malimono, Surigao del Norte at around 03:38 p.m. on 19 April, said the Coast Guard which responded to the incident.

First reports after the incident suggested that all of the 20 crew members onboard were missing. However, latest updates as of 21 April reveal that seven crew members have been rescued at different vicinity waters of Surigao del Norte, with help from Coast Guard, PNP-MARIG, and several concerned citizens. There are also three confirmed deceased crew members, while ten remain unaccounted for.

The PCG Station Surigao del Norte has activated a deployable response group (DRG) to look for the missing people and coordinated with the Marine Environmental Protection Unit (MEPU) of the PCG District North Eastern Mindanao to conduct inspection for possible oil spill in the vicinity waters. Initial investigation revealed LCT Cebu Great Ocean contains approximately 2,000 liters of diesel onboard.

Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) and the Malimono Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) for appropriate actions.

Search and rescue operations are still underway for the other missing members of LCT Cebu Great Ocean, after being halted due to poor visibility and rough sea condition.

Typhoon Surigae has triggered floods in more than a dozen provinces on the country’s eastern coast, forcing more than 50,000 people to flee their homes. However, as of 12:30 pm on 21 April, all passengers, truck drivers, cargo helpers, vessels, motorbancas, and rolling cargoes that were stranded due to typhoon are now allowed to travel by sea, the Coast Guard announced.