By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Hundreds of travelers were left stranded following the suspension of sea trips after Western Visayas was placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 1 yesterday due to Typhoon “Odette.”.
Captain Ludovico Librilla, deputy commander of Coast Guard District Western Visayas and commander of Coast Guard Station-Negros Occidental, said the initial cancelations of sea trips were issued after 5:00 a.m. when the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) placed neighboring Cebu island under TCWS No. 1.
The initial routes that were affected were the Sagay City to Tabuelan, Cebu; Escalante City to Tabuelan, Cebu; and San Carlos City to Toledo City, Cebu.
PAGASA then issued another advisory at 11:00 a.m. declaring Negros and Panay islands on TCWS No. 1, forcing the PCG to also suspend the sea trips between Bacolod City to Iloilo City and Dumangas town.
Also affected by the 11:00 a.m. trip suspension were routes from Bacolod City bound for Manila, Cagayan de Oro and Batangas.
Meanwhile, aside from the travelers, Librilla also called on local fishermen not to venture out to sea, while also advising those who are already at sea to immediately return home, adding that it is dangerous to venture out during a typhoon.
The PCG’s sub-stations and auxiliary units throughout the province have also been placed on “red alert” status and were told to prepare for rescue, and relief operations./DGB, WDJ