'Labuyo' strands over 3,400 passengers

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

MANILA (Updated, 4:09 p.m.) - More than 3,400 passengers were stranded Sunday in ports in the northeastern Philippines after authorities have suspended ferry services due to Typhoon Labuyo (international name: Utor).

Office of Civil Defense Bicol Director Bernardo Alejandro IV said at least 31 passenger and cargo ferries were not allowed to venture out in increasingly choppy seas.

Labuyo, the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year, was located at 110 kilometers (km) north northeast of Virac Catanduanes, packing maximum winds of 150 kilometer per hour (kph) and gustiness of 185 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), in a press conference Sunday, said the typhoon could intensify further before it slams into Aurora province on Monday.

Pagasa hoisted public storm warning Signal 3 on seven areas, including Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Northern Quezon, Polilio Islands, Aurora and Isabela. These areas should expect winds of 101 to 185 kph within 18 hours.

Meanwhile, Sorsogon, Albay, Rizal, the rest of Quezon, Laguna, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Nueva Viscaya, Benguet, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Kalinga and Cagayan are placed under public storm warning signal 2. Within 24 hours, these areas should expect winds 61 to 100kph.

Public storm warning signal 1 is also raised on Calayan and Babuyan group of Islands, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Abra, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Marinduque, Burias and Ticao Islands, Metro Manila and Northern Samar. These areas should expect winds between 45 and 60 kph within 36 hours.

The typhoon's estimated rainfall amount is from 7.5 to 25 mm per hour (heavy to intense) within its 600 km diameter.

Labuyo, which is expected to exit Philippines by Tuesday morning, is the 12th of about 20 storms and typhoons expected to lash the country this year. (AP/Sunnex)

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