750 passengers stranded in Surigao sea ports

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Nov) – Although Tropical Depression “Queenie” is now out of Mindanao, a total of 750 sea vessel passengers bound for Cebu, Leyte, Siargao and Dinagat Islands are now stranded in the city’s two sea ports because of cancelled trips since Wednesday.

As of noon today, the Philippine Coast Guard and the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (CDRRMO) reported that 350 passengers are stranded at the Bilang-bilang Port while 400 more are stranded at the Lipata Port.

Geoffrey Gervo, Coast Guard station commander in Surigao City, said that trips to Liloan and in San Ricardo, Southern Leyte; Dinagat Islands; Siargao Island; Cebu; and the islands of Surigao City remain suspended as of today.

The number of stranded passengers are expected to increase as vehicles from different parts of Mindanao come and attempt to cross the sea to Southern Leyte via the Lipata Port.

Meanwhile, at least 80 families evacuated to safer grounds on Wednesday as Queenie passed by the city, according to city information officer Annette Villaces.

She said most of those who evacuated are from Barangay Canlanipa, which is prone to landslides. A total of 72 families, or 274 individuals, sought shelter at Canlanipa covered court.

Five families also sought shelter at the city gymnasium and three families went to Surigao City National High School in Barangay San Juan.

Villaces said all of the evacuees were given food at the evacuation centers, but they returned to their respective homes this morning.

She said that some areas in the city had no electricity on Wednesday when the Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative shut off its power supply due to strong winds. But power has been restored early morning Thursday.

In nearby Dinagat Province, a total of 169 families from four of the seven municipalities sought shelter in different evacuation centers, according to Jane Mayola, provincial information officer.

She said the provincial government ordered a forced evacuation in areas prone to landslide and flashfloods.

Mayola said some electric poles and cables were partly damaged due to strong winds and only the capital municipality of San Jose has electricity as of this writing.

Engr. Segio Dagooc, general manager of Dinagat Electric Cooperative, said they are now doing clearing operations and working double time to restore electricity.