LEGAZPI CITY -- Around 5,500 passengers bound for Samar province were still at the Matnog port in Sorsogon after maritime authorities suspended seacraft sailing due to turbulent seas spawned by Tropical Depression "Agaton," the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol said Saturday.

Rafael Bernardo Alejandro, OCD Bicol regional director, quoted a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) report saying that as of 11 a.m. Saturday, 227 trucks, 88 buses and 52 light vehicles were still lined up along the Maharlika Highway leading to the town port awaiting their cue for possible boarding on ferry boats plying the Matnog-Allen, Samar route.

Bernardo said only three ferry boats were available to accommodate the thousands of stranded travelers bound for Samar province.

As a standard maritime practice, these ferry boats were not allowed to sail after the government's weather agency hoisted Public Storm Signal No. 1 as hovered over some parts of the Visayas and Mindanao regions, bringing moderate to heavy rains and strong winds. (PNA)