‘Ofel’ strands passengers in Oro, Misamis ports-A A +A
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
HUNDREDS of travelers were stranded Wednesday in various ports in Misamis Oriental and the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan after the Philippine Coast Guard cancelled all sea travel due to Tropical Storm “Ofel.”
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) hoisted storm signal number 1 all over Misamis Oriental after Ofel gained strength.
As of Wednesday, signal number 2 have been raised in Camiguin province, leaving around 130 sea travelers, including those headed for Bohol, stranded in Balingoan port.
Apprentice seaman Rogelio Obido of the Coast Guard Districts Northern Mindanao (CGDNM) told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro that sea travels will resume as soon as warning signals are lifted.
“As of now, hindi pa namin alam kung kailan mag-resume but lahat ng klaseng sasakyang pandagat ay kanselado, kahit na dito sa Macabalan wharf (We still don’t know when the vessels will be allowed to travel, but all trips were cancelled, even here in Macabalan wharf),” Obido said.
Ofel also slammed Surigao del Sur, some areas in Visayas, Mindanao and other regions.
Misamis Oriental Vice Governor Norris Babiera, co-chair of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), said they already alerted all municipal disaster councils in the province.
“I already talked with Colonel Rolando Hinanay, our provincial police director, since the Philippine National Police are the first responder to any disaster. Colonel Hinanay has already alerted all municipal police offices,” Babiera said.
But even with this, Babiera is calling on the public, especially those living along the coast and in landslide prone areas, to be vigilant.
“If possible, they should go to a much safer place and not wait for advisories,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 25, 2012.