Debris found in Mimaropa waters likely from Chinese rocket — PhilSA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 9) — The debris found in waters off two Mimaropa provinces this week likely came from a recently launched Chinese rocket, according to the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA).

In a statement on Wednesday, PhilSA said there is a “high likelihood” that the debris detected in Busuanga, Palawan was part of the rocket fairing of China’s Long March 5B which was launched on Oct. 31.

PhilSA cited its proximity from the drop zone as well as visual photo evidence.

“In addition, it is highly likely that the pieces of debris reportedly found off the waters of Calintaan, Occidental Mindoro were also part of the said rocket component,” the agency added.

The Coast Guard earlier said metallic debris was recovered by fishermen in the waters of Calintaan town over the weekend. Photos posted by resident Analyn Flores Victoriano on Tuesday showed the debris bore a painting of a flag with a yellow star and red background.

Meanwhile, the military's Western Command said in a separate report that debris was also found in the waters of Barangay Cheey in Busuanga on Monday. It did not lead to any casualties, officials added.

The PhilSA previously warned the public to be on the lookout for possible falling debris from the Long March 5B, which came from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan Island.

According to PhilSA, the Civil Aviation Administration of China notified that the aircraft's "expected unburned debris" may drop within two zones: approximately 72 kilometers from Bajo de Masinloc and approximately 39 kilometers from Busuanga, Palawan.