'Vinta' strands 1,531 passengers

SOME 28 vessels bound for Bohol, Leyte, Negros Oriental and Mindanao were not allowed to set sail by the Philippine Coast Guard Cebu Station because of the incoming tropical storm Vinta.

PCG Cebu chief Commander Jerome Cayabyab said that although the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) did not raise a typhoon signal over Cebu City, the vessels’ destinations are under Storm Signal No. 1.

Some 1,531 passengers in various ports in the province have been stranded as a result, as well as 115 rolling cargoes, or those that are loaded on roll-on-roll-off vessels.

As of press time, Pagasa Mactan Chief Al Quiblat said that Vinta was spotted 200 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur with maximum sustained winds of 80 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center.

Quiblat said that although Vinta has gustiness of up to 100 kph, their forecast shows it moving west at 21 kph.

“This means that Vinta will pass Surigao del Sur, Bukidnon and Zambonga. It will exit Zambonga by Dec. 23,” he said.

He said that there is also a possibility that the center of the storm will be in southern Cebu.

Signal number one has been raised in southern Cebu, southern Leyte, Southern Leyte, Siquijor, Bohol, southern Negros Occidental and southern Negros Oriental.

Quiblat said that although only Southern Cebu is placed under signal number one, the whole province will be affected by moderate to heavy rains.
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