BFAR raises red tide alarm in some bays of Eastern Visayas

TACLOBAN CITY — A six-year-old boy died while 43 others were knocked after eating green mussels or also known as “Tahong” in Catbalogan City. With this incident, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) raised the alarm as it reiterated that red tide toxins are still up in several bays in the region.

The young boy who died last Tuesday, September 19, was identified as Froilan Basal from Brgy. Pupua, Catbalogan City. He was confined at the Samar Provincial Hospital (SPH) in Catbalogan City.

His father, Alejandro, 33 years old, and his siblings, namely Analiza (13), Angelyn (9), and Ariane (5) are now declared as safe.

The family ate tahong last September 18; hours later, they experienced severe vomiting, stomachache, and numbness.

The BFAR has declared that red tide toxin is present in some bays in Samar. The Bureau issued the warning against harvesting and eating of all kinds of mussels from these affected bays.

The agency also declared that the Irong-Irong Bay, Villareal Bay, and the coastal waters of Daram Island, all the bays in Samar, Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar and Carigara Bay in Leyte are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison.

On September 19, according to BFAR, 33 residents of Mual-Bual, Zumarraga were confined but were discharged later on.

Meanwhile, there were two residents of Catbalogan, three from Pinabacdao, and one from Jiabong who were also downed by red tide toxin. They were brought to the Eastern Visayas Medical Center (EVRMC) for treatment.

“We are still monitoring bays here in Samar for the presence of red tide toxin,” Gresola said.

Cambatutay Bay in Samar, San Pedro, and Cancabato Bays in Leyte, the coastal water of Calubian, Town of Leyte, Leyte, and coastal waters of Biliran were already declared as free from red-tide toxins.