Gale warning suspends sea trips
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) suspended several sea trips in the Visayas area after the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued a gale warning due to Typhoon “Mangkhut,” locally named “Ompong.”
PCG-Bacolod Station Commander, Lieutenant Commander Ludovico Librilla, said the gale warning was issued around 1:00 p.m. and covered the entire Western Visayas.
He added, all ships weighing below 250 gross tons are barred from leaving port; however, ships above the 250 gross tonnage, such as those operating Roll-on/Roll-off vessels and two fastcraft vessels belonging to ferry companies Weesam Express and Ocean Jet, were allowed to sail.
In addition, several shipping companies operating between Bacolod City and Iloilo City immediately canceled trips following the PCG’s order.
In Dumaguete City, PCG-Southern Visayas Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Junior Grade Donna Liza Ramacho, said around 1,447 passengers were stranded at the city’s port since Thursday afternoon.
Ramacho said Manila-bound vessels were barred from leaving port after PAGASA placed Metro Manila under a storm typhoon warning signal.
Most of the passengers, however, did not complain, pointing out, they understood that the cancellations was for their own safety./DGB, WDJ