SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 Dec) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) here cancelled boat trips Sunday as the weather bureau placed Surigao and several other Mindanao and Visayas provinces under Public Storm Warning Signal 1.
Geoffrey Gervo, station commander of the Philippine Coast Guard here said all passengers vessel trips have been cancelled since Sunday morning although some motorized bancas were seen still plying their usual route to the different islands in Surigao del Norte.
MindaNews saw several motorized bancas ferrying passengers to and from Hayanngabon Port in Claver town in Surigao del Norto — and Bucas Grande Island in Socorro town on Sunday.
A boat owner and operator told this reporter that despite the storm signal, they would still sail if they think the waves and winds are manageable.
“When typhoon ‘Quennie’ hit early this month I sailed with some passengers and that was signal number 2,” he said.
The number of stranded passengers in Surigao rose as the boats trips bound for Cebu, Siargao, Dinagat and Leyte were also grounded since this morning.
Port Police Supt. Froilan Caturla told MindaNews that at least 34 passengers and 62 rolling vehicles were stranded in Lipata Port. He said this number will rise as more buses and vehicles from different parts of Mindanao are bound for Leyte, Samar, Manila.
In Surigao City baseport, he said, the list of stranded passengers had risen to 439.
Annette Villaces, information officer of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, said the city government of Surigao had warned residents living in landslide-prone areas to seek shelter in safer grounds as rains pounded the city since Saturday.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said two Cebu Pacific flights bound for Cebu City were cancelled Sunday, along with a Manila-Siargao-Manila flight. ((MindaNews)