RESIDENTS of Pagasa Islands heard “thunder-like” sounds hours after the discovery of a floating rocket debris in the sea near the area, Ariel Carlos, Kalayaan municipal information officer, said on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

In a television interview, Carlos said they are coordinating with the Western Command to identify the blasting sounds heard by the residents from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. of November 20.

“We are still confirming ‘yung tunkol diyan sa pagsabog na yan but totoo yung kinausap natin ‘yung mga residente na may mga naririnig nga daw na thunder-like sound,” he said.

(We are still confirming about that explosion, but it is true what we talked to the residents who said they heard thunder-like sounds.)

“But up until this moment, we are trying to communicate with the Western Command kung ano ‘yung mga naririnig na ‘yun (what those things are). Does it have something to do with the prior incident na may nakitang debris sa ating karagatan (discovery of debris in the ocean)?” he added.

The local government of Kalayaan urged the residents to be vigilant and alert for any eventualities.

On Sunday, November 20, a team from the Naval Station Emilio Liwanag in Palawan recovered a rocket debris floating around 800 yards west off Pagasa Island.

While being towed, authorities said a Chinese Coast Guard approached and “forcefully” took the debris.

This was denied by the Chinese government, noting they took the debris following a “friendly consultation” with Filipino troops. (SunStar Philippines)