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We were having lunch on that 16th day of April when the news about the Sewol Ferry Tragedy flashed on the television screen. I saw how the ferry tilted and there were 2 people reported dead at that time. I thought it was just one small accident, but the news occupied the television airtime up to late night cancelling some regular TV shows here in Korea and I assumed it was not just any regular tragedy. I listened to the news and I was surprised as the death toll continued to rise, not to mention the other missing victims of the tragedy.
Apparently, the said ferry traveled from Incheon to Jeju Island carrying 475 passengers of which 340 are students and teachers of Danwon High School in Ansan. As per the latest news, only 174 passengers survived the accident and that include the Captain and some of the crews of Sewol Ferry. Death toll rose to 171 and there are about 131 more passengers missing. The search and rescue operation continues despite the challenge of unfavorable weather condition. Most of the dead bodies are said to be trapped in their respective vessels after the Ferry's crew announced to stay still and not to leave the ferry during the hiatus.
The Sewol Ferry Tragedy is now considered to be one of the biggest peacetime maritime disaster in Korea. As an OFW living in this country, I am one with fellow Filipinos in praying for South Korea.
One of fellow OFW who happened to visit Danwon High School in Ansan posted some photos of the latest happenings there.
A public vigil at Ansan Olympic Stadium is being held. Relatives, friends and even random people who sympathize to the victims of the Sewol Ferry Tragedy gathered to pray for the them.
I guess writing notes on a small post-it cards is already part of Korean culture. Thousands of students and friends of those who are affected by the tragedy express their sympathy by writing notes for them.
The wall of the stadium is flooded by hundreds of messages and flowers.
But what really breaks my heart are these pictures of young students who are now dead because of the tragedy.
Some of them maybe an only child of the family, some of them may have big dreams in life and others may have unfinished business.
I pray that God will give strength to the bereaved families. I pray that the lost ones will find peace. And I pray, no matter how hopeless, that there are still more survivors.
I would like to express my condolences to the family of the lost ones.