MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Tuesday reported a total of 23,789 passengers stranded in ports across the country due to the inclement weather brought about by typhoon Ursula.
The PCG said the stranded passengers were monitored in various ports in Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Southern Tagalog, Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas and Southern Visayas.
The agency also said the operations of 3,253 rolling cargoes, 46 motorbancas, and 157 vessels also temporarily suspended, while 86 vessels and seven motorbancas are taking shelter due to the bad weather condition.
The PCG said the sea travel are currently suspended in some areas in light of the storm signals hoisted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
The agency also stressed that its strict implementation of the order to suspend sea travel in areas under storm warning signal is for the safety of the public.
“Nagsususpend po tayo ng biyahe base sa weather forecast na inilalabas ng PAG-ASA. Hangarin po namin ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa,” the PCG said in response to complaints it received on its Facebook page.
The PCG has directed all its units to “ensure the strict implementation of the guidelines on the movement of vessels during heavy weather to ensure the safety of lives and properties at all costs.”
PAGASA earlier reported that typhoon Ursula made a landfall over Salcedo, Eastern Samar at 4:45 p.m.
In its 5 p.m. weather bulletin, the state weather bureau said Ursula’s eye wall is bringing violent winds over the southern portion of Eastern Samar and is likely to affect Biliran, the southern portion of Samar and the norther part of Leyte in the coming hours.
PAGASA said the typhoon is packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 150 kph.
It is moving west at the speed of 25 kph.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 3 is up in the following areas:
- Masbate including Ticao island
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- Extreme Northern Cebu including Camotes island (Daanbantayan, Medellin, Bantayan, Sta. Fe, Madridejos, San Francisco, Poro, Tudela and Pilar)
TCWS no. 2 is up in:
- Southern portion of Quezon (Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, San Francisco)
- Oriental Mindoro
- Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
- Burias Island
- Calamian and Cuyo Islands
- Central portion of northern Cebu (Bogo City, Tabogon, Tabuelan, Borbon)
- Northeastern Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, Estancia, Batad, San Dionisio, Sara, Concepcion, Lemery, and Ajuy)
- Northern Antique (Libertad, Pandan, Sebaste, Culasi, Tibiao)
- Southern Leyte
- Northern Negros Occidental (Enrique B. Magalona, Victorias, Manapla, Cadiz, Sagay, Escalante, Toboso)
- Dinagat Islands
Meanwhile, wind signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas:
- Metro Manila
- The rest of Quezon
- Camarines Sur
- Camarines Norte
- Northern Palawan (Linapacan, El Nido, Taytay, Araceli, Dumaran, San Vicente, Roxas)
- The rest of Cebu
- The rest of Antique
- The rest of Iloilo
- Negros Oriental
- The rest of Negros Occidental
- Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands
The typhoon is seen to bring occasional to frequent heavy rains over Dinagat Islands, Siargao, Bucas Grande Islands, Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, northern and Central Cebu, northern Negros Provinces, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras and Romblon.
Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains over the rest of Bicol Region, Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, and the rest of Visayas and Surigao del Norte, according to PAGASA.
Moderate to strong winds will also affect Bicol Region and portions of Central Visayas tonight; CALABARZON, and portions of MIMAROPA and Western Visayas on Wednesday morning; Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Bataan Wednesday afternoon.
PAGASA said medium to high-risk structures may experience light damage.
The agency has advised residents in these areas to take appropriate measures to reduce the potential impact of flooding and rain-induced landslides, especially in areas identified to be highly susceptible to these hazards.
PAGASA also warned of possible storm surge of up to two meters which may affect the several coastal areas of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, and Leyte.
Ursula is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday, December 28.
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