By: Gail T. Momblan
TROPICAL Depression Usman left stranded passengers in Western Visayas ports on Dec 27, 2018.
This, as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in the region cancelled boat trips effective 11 a.m. Wednesday after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) raised Typhoon Signal No. 1 over Northern Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, and Northern Negros Occidental.
The trips of Roll on-Roll off (RO-RO) vessels were also affected by the weather disturbance.
“Mas marami ang stranded cargo vessels. Nakita naton sa fast craft nga Ro-Ro nga pakadto nagapila na sila di,” he said.
The PCG said 768 passengers, 67 cargo vessels, and 11 vessels were stranded in Iloilo; 35 passengers in Capiz; 48 passengers, 24 rolling cargoes stranded, and 5 vessels taking shelter in Aklan.
“Gina-advice naton aton sa mga pashero nga bago maglakat tan-awon anay ang lakat sang panahon, magpamati sa radyo kon sa diin bagyo to avoid man sang additional stranded passenger sa mga ports sa Iloilo,” said Lt. Commander Ramil Palabrica, PCG-6 spokesperson.
Palabrica reminded fisherfolks of PCG Memorandum Circular 03-12 which prohibits motorized bancas from going out to see when Typhoon Signal No. 1 is raised in their area.
He said boat operators and captains are advised to monitor the weather condition and to take shelter when the a storm passes by.
Quick response teams and response vessel of the PCG are on stand-by and ready to respond if needed, Palabrica said.
As of 12 p.m. of December 27, the PCG’s Oplan Byaheng Ayos recorded 19,373 outbound passengers in Western Visayas – 68 in Antique ports; 2,909 in Aklan; and 16,369 in Iloilo.
Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional director Rebecca Geamala has activated the DSWD Quick Response Team.
The agency also allotted 15,000 family food packs ready should the Local Government Units need augmentation.
Typhoon Usman may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) between Sunday evening (December 30) and Monday morning (December 31).