‘Paeng’ strands 500 passengers in Central Visayas

ALMOST 500 passengers were stranded in various ports in Central Visayas Friday, October 28, 2022, due to Tropical Storm Paeng.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Visayas suspended on Friday all trips from Cebu to several areas in Visayas and Mindanao that were placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 1 as Paeng intensified while moving west northwest toward Northern Samar-Sorsogon-Albay area.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that as of 4 p.m. Friday, the eye of Paeng was located at 180 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar, packing maximum winds of 85 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center, gusts of up to 105 km/h, and central pressure of 990 hPa.

Pagasa hoisted TCWS 1 in Cebu, including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, among other areas in Visayas, Mindanao and Luzon.

As of Friday afternoon, a total of 497 passengers in the region were not able to sail, data from the PCG showed.

In Cebu, 245 passengers were stranded, of which seven were from Bogo City, 18 from Oslob, 19 from Daanbantayan, 90 from Danao, and 111 from Hagnaya in San Remigio town.

Thirty-five passengers were also stranded in Tubigon, 167 in Tagbilaran City in Bohol, and 50 in Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.

Aside from individuals, 100 rolling cargoes, 13 vessels and one motorbanca were also not able to travel.

"Most likely, naa pa sila na stranded sa ports. Ang nahitabo ana, some kay going home, if wala sila niduol sa mga LGUs," said Coast Guard Ens. Jordz Emata on Friday, October 28.

The PCG advised the passengers to monitor the advisories that will be issued by the agency.

The Cebu City Department of Social Welfare and Development Services has provided packed meals to the stranded passengers at Pier 1 in Cebu City.

Meanwhile, Central Visayas Police Brigadier General Roderick Augustus Alba inspected the seaports and terminals in the city on Friday to ensure security and safety of the stranded passengers.

He assured the passengers that the police personnel will monitor their situation.

A police assistance desk was also installed inside the Pier 1 terminal to respond to whatever complaints or concerns the stranded passengers may raise.

Alba directed Police Colonel Ireneo Dalogdog to coordinate with the local government unit (LGU) to assist the passengers.

He said the passengers may be allowed to travel as soon as the storm signal in Cebu is lifted.

“We advise our passengers na kung pwede wag lang masyadong mag layo sa area kase anytime naman baka ma lift yung restriction at least malapit lang sila,” Alba said.

Under government guidelines, sea vessels in areas under storm signals are not allowed to sail.

Alba also ordered the chiefs of police in LGUs in Central Visayas to monitor the situation in their respective localities amid heavy rains that may cause flooding and landslides.

He said forced evacuated must be implemented in coordination with local disaster offices and the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Alba assured the public that the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas is closely monitoring the weather condition and situation in several areas in the region. (ANV/AYB/LMY)