THE Philippine Coast Guard said more than 15,000 passengers and over 100 vessels have been stranded in different ports nationwide as of 4 a.m. Friday, December 28, due to Tropical Depression “Usman”.
In a statement, the Coast Guard said it monitored a total of 15,788 stranded passengers. Also stranded were 1,464 rolling cargoes; 114 vessels; and 24 motorbancas.
The Coast Guard is strictly implementing a directive it issued Thursday, which prohibited sea travel in all areas placed under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal #1 (TCWS #1).
As of 8 a.m. Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has raised TCWS #1 over these areas: Northern Palawan including Calamian Group of Islands, Camarines Norte, southern Quezon, Marinduque, Romblon, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, southern Occidental Mindoro, southern Oriental Mindoro and Cuyo, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, northern Cebu including Camotes Islands, Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, Antique, northern Negros Occidental and Dinagat Island.
The tropical depression has maintained its strength, with maximum winds of up to 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 65 kph. It was still moving west northwest at 10 kph, Pagasa said.
At 7 a.m. Friday, the severe weather system was spotted 250 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. Landfall is projected in Northern Samar Friday evening.
Below is a list provided by the Coast Guard on the number of passengers and vessels stranded in affected areas as of 4 a.m. Friday:
National Capital Region and Central Luzon: 1,049 passengers and 3 vessels;
Central Visayas: 1,164 passengers, 86 rolling cargoes, 36 vessels and 3 motorbanca;
Southern Tagalog: 1,733 passengers, 108 rolling cargoes, 6 vessels and 2 motorbanca;
Western Visayas: 942 passengers, 93 rolling cargoes, 11 vessels and 2 motorbanca;
Bicol: 5,047 passengers, 357 rolling cargoes, 25 vessels and 4 motorbanca;
Eastern Visayas: 5,017 passengers, 603 rolling cargoes, 13 vessels and 8 motorbanca;
Northern Mindanao: 453 passengers, 16 rolling cargoes, 6 vessels and 5 motorbanca; and
Southern Visayas: 383 passengers, 201 rolling cargoes and 14 vessels. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)