Foul weather left one dead in Cebu; Japan–bound flights canceled

By: Agnes B. Alpuerto, Benjie Talisic, Nestle L. Semilla, Rene Alima October 23,2017 - 03:23 AM

Passengers of vessels bound for Tubigon in Bohol and Ormoc City in Leyte who have been stranded in Pier I, Cebu City, since Friday, October 20, have been able to depart on Sunday after the Philippine Coast Guard in Cebu allowed small seacraft to depart from Cebu’s ports.

Typhoon Paolo has already exited the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday, but the foul weather it spawned left one person dead in the southern town of Argao, while several flights out of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) were canceled and small sea vessels were still advised against sailing out of Cebu’s ports.

The stormy weather claimed the life of fisherman Orland Cobol Sr., 45, who drowned in the waters off his coastal village, Barangay Bogo in the southern Cebu town of Argao, at dawn on Sunday.

His body was found floating sometime around 7 a.m. Sunday by fellow neighbors, according to SP03 Jose Repompo of the Argao Police Station.

Repompo said the fisherman, along with his son Orland Jr., 20, and Vicente Camasura, a friend of the older Cobol, had gone fishing past 3 a.m. on Sunday and were throwing out their fishing net into the sea when Orland Sr. lost his balance and fell down. Orland Jr. jumped into the water to rescue his father, but it was too dark and was unable to find him.

Repompo said Orland Jr. told the police that they searched in vain for Orland Sr. for over an hour before they decided to return to the shore to seek help. However, before a new search could be mounted, a lifeless Orland Sr. was found floating in the seawater just off Sitio Tikoy, Barangay Bogo.
Repompo said the son confirmed that his father was under the influence of liquor during the time when they went out to fish.

Super typhoon

Paolo, with international name Lan, was spotted 1,670 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes, at 3 p.m. on Sunday. It left the country’s area of responsibility at 5 a.m and is now moving north northeast at 40 kilometers per hour.

Leo Aguirre, weather specialist of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa)-Mactan station, said Paolo was heading for Japan and was expected to make landfall in Tokyo this morning.

However, because of the typhoon’s wide circulation, risks of rains, strong winds and rough seas still loomed in the country. Moderate to heavy rains are expected within the 1,900-kilometer diameter of the typhoon.

Aguirre said Paolo has a high chance of developing into a super typhoon in the next 24 hours. As of 5 p.m on Sunday, the typhoon’s eye was at about 1,200 kilometers from Tokyo.

“Dako g’yud ni syag epekto sa Japan kay ang wind gust ani niya moabot og 225 kilometers per hour. Kusog naman gani diri sa ato nga typhoon ra sya nya wala nag-landfall. How much more sa Japan na mahimo syang super typhoon (The typhoon will have huge effect on Japan because it has wind gusts of 225 kilometers per hour. The Philippines felt the strong effect even if it was only a typhoon and it did not make a landfall here. How much more in Japan where it may be declared as super typhoon),” Aguirre added.

Canceled flights

Philippine Airlines (PAL), in fact, canceled several flights to and from Japan on Sunday due to inclement weather brought by the typhoon.

Cebu trips to and from the region of Kansai and the cities of Nagoya and Narita were canceled along with five other flights in Manila.

“Japan is the direct path of the typhoon Lan so the weather in Japan is unfavorable. That is why we canceled flights on Sunday and some flights from Japan to the Philippines on Monday because of the weather,” said Cielo Villaluna, spokesperson of PAL.

Villaluna added that text messages and emails were sent to the passengers of the canceled flights on Saturday.

Cebu Pacific also announced flight cancellations in Manila on Sunday. The airline posted on their Facebook page that the flights to and from the cities of Nagoya and Osaka have been affected by the typhoon.

Cathay Pacific, meanwhile, also canceled two Cebu–Hong Kong flights, which were supposed to depart on Sunday morning and noon.

For passengers who have transit flights and those who reached the airport before having notified of the flight cancellations, the airlines have the responsibility to book them to the nearest hotels and provide meals, said Avi Maningo, Corporate Affairs Department Officer of the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation.

Small seacraft: Don’t sail yet

Despite the lifting of the gale warning, the Cebu Station of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) still advised small vessels not to proceed with their trips if the sea was still rough.

Ensign John Manuel Alip, PCG-Cebu deputy commander, said the gale warning was lifted by Pagasa at 5 p.m., which meant that vessels weighing 250 gross tons and below could already depart from Cebu’s ports.

However, he said, the operators of small seacraft have the discretion to decide whether or not they would resume their trips since the sea could still be rough.

The PCG-Cebu banned small sea vessels from leaving port since Thursday, resulting to cancellation of about 70 trips bound for different ports in Bohol and Leyte.

The weather condition in Cebu was projected to improve by today until Wednesday, according to Aguirre.
Cebu and the entire Central and Eastern Visayas will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies while isolated rain showers and thunderstorms may affect Metro Cebu in late afternoons.

But Aguirre said Cebu will still experience moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest as indirect effect of typhoon Paolo.

In the coming days, the temperature in Metro Cebu is foreseen to be at 25 to 31 degrees Celsius.

Pagasa-Mactan has recorded 146.5 millimeters of rain in Cebu since October 1, about 43 mm less from the expected rainfall volume for the entire month.

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TAGS: Cancelled flights, Japan, rain

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