THE Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Central Visayas reported that Cebu and Bohol have 2,226 stranded passengers as of 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, while there were 30 vessels with 28 rolling cargoes and 25 motor bancas not allowed to sail while Storm Samuel is coming.
Lt. Junior Grade Mike Encina, PCG Central Visayas public information officer, said that in Cebu, there were 960 stranded passengers, while 14 vessels with 10 rolling cargoes and four motor bancas were not allowed to sail.
Encina said that in Bohol, there 1,306 stranded passengers, and nine vessels with 18 rolling cargoes and 21 motor bancas that were not allowed to sail. There were 12 vessels and 92 motor bancas that took shelter.
Encina said the number of stranded passengers was decreasing because of early advisories, while the vessels that will be disallowed to sail will increase due to the coming storm.
Encina said that under PCG Memorandum Circular 1-13, all vessels will not be allowed to sail under Signal No. 1 issued by the weather bureau.
Encina advised stranded passengers to go home for safety as the weather condition may improve on Nov. 20 night yet. Those who are transients are urged to go to their relatives or friends for their safety during the passage of the storm.
Engineer Alfredo Quiblat, chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Sciences Administration (Pagasa) said that the first landfall of Storm Samuel will be in Siargao Island Tuesday, Nov. 20, afternoon.
Quiblat said the second landfall will be in Northern Bohol early Wednesday, Nov. 21, morning. Then it will hit Metro Cebu two hours after, then Negros Oriental after two hours.
Storm Samuel will then hit Negros Occidental Thursday morning, Palawan by Thursday night, then exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Friday morning.
“I advice the people in affected areas to always monitor, and listen to disaster managers so they can get quick instruction in flood prone or landslide prone areas because there will be a start of moderate to heavy rains tomorrow,” said Quiblat.
He said that, at most, they can raise the alarm to Signal No. 2 because it is moving between 60 and88 kilometers per hour (KPH) with a category of tropical storm.
A tropical storm with a strength of 60-88 KPH is Signal No. 2; Severe Tropical Storm at 89-119 KPH is Signal No. 3; Typhoon at 120-220 KPH is Signal No. 4 and Super Typhoon at 220 KPH and above is Signal No. 5, he said.
Under Executive Order 66, there shall be no class on pre-school under Signal No. 1, although it will be decided by the school head or the Local Government Unit (LGU), Quiblat said.
Meanwhile, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III has declared a suspension of classes within the pre-school to senior high school levels in all public schools on Tuesday, Nov. 20, due to Tropical Depression Samuel.
In an advisory, Davide said that while classes in public schools have been suspended, he has give administrators of private schools the discretion to suspend their classes.
Classes in all levels in Cebu City public schools are also suspended on Tuesday, Nov. 20 as a precaution against heavy rain and gusts.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña made the announcement in a Facebook post Monday afternoon, Nov. 19.
“No classes for all schools under the jurisdiction of Cebu City tomorrow (Nov. 20)...To those from private schools and universities, please contact your school admin directly,” wrote Osmeña. (EOB, JKV, RTF)