Friday, October 26, 2012

SoKor postpones rocket ship launch but PH flight, fishing ban still on

South Korea’s postponement of its third attempt to launch a rocket ship left officials in the Department of National Defense (DND) in “suspended animation”. But Defense undersecretary Benito Ramos clarified the rocket launch’s suspension does not lift the flight and fishing ban, which is still in effect along the country’s eastern seaboard until 6 p.m. on Oct. 26. “South Korea’s rocket launching is postponed or suspended due to technical problem,” Ramos said, citing a report from Philippine military attaché to South Korea, Col. Ireneo Maningding. Ramos explained the rocket encountered fuel problems and helium leak before its scheduled take off around 2:30 p.m. in Manila on Friday. The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director reminded the imposition of “no fly, no sail, no fish zone” in the provinces located in the eastern part. He enumerated the zones covered the areas in Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, and Siargao. Ramos, who also administers DND’s Office of the Civil Defense (OCD), said they will still remain on stand by as they anticipate re-launch from Friday to Oct. 31. Citing official reports, Ramos estimated the rocket to travel for at least 20 minutes over Pacific Ocean around 540 nautical miles east of PH before falling into sea. Earlier this month, Ramos explained the rocket carries a satellite that aims to improve mobile connection that would render existing cell sites obsolete. The government official said they will be coordinating with Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) for the re-routing of flights and courses for ship travel. He explained the re-routing will ensure the safety of commuters who will travel long distances to go to their home province for All Saints’ Day.