Hundreds left stranded in ports of Cebu City, Cebu province

By Jessa M. Sotto and Doris C. Bongcac |September 14,2018 - 10:37 AM

More than 500 passengers were left stranded in different ports located in Cebu City and Cebu province as of 8 a.m. today as a result of the grounding of 97 different sea vessels.

Lt. Michael John Encina, operations officer of Philippine Coast Guard in Central Visayas (PCG – 7), said most of the stranded passengers now crowd the ports in Cebu City, Bato in Samboan town, Liloan in Santander town and Toledo City in southern Cebu and Tabuelan town in the north.

Most of the stranded passengers are bound for Dumaguete and San Carlos Cities in Negros Occidental and Bohol and Ilo-ilo provinces.

“ALL TRIPS ARE CANCELLED TODAY,” said the Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) in a Facebook post at 9 a.m. today.

“All boat trips at Liloan, Santander and Bato, Samboan bound for Negros Oriental are canceled today. #OmpongPH,” said another CPA advisory posted at 9:30 a.m.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that supertyphoon Ompong has continues to have maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 255 kph.

As of 5 a.m. today, the weather disturbance was seen last at 655 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon and moving west northwest at 20 kph.

Strong winds caused by Ompong is causing the Habagat that is now affecting Cebu and the rest of Central Visayas to also intensify.

Encina said they continue to monitor the weather condition to they can also give updates to travelers.

Until new updates are issued, Encina said it would be best for travelers to remain in their homes for now.

The next PCG-7 advisory will be issued at 8 a.m. on Saturday, he said.

“Instead of insisting na magbyahe, mas maigi na sa kanilang tahanan na lang sila. Maghanda sa bagyo. Magstore ng pagkain good for three days in preparation,” Encina said.

A family of three from Cagayan de Oro have opted to occupy a corner of the terminal 1 in Cebu City while they await for the next trip to Ilo-ilo.

Geraldine said that she and her husband and their nine-year-old daughter arrived at the ports of Cebu on Thursday dawn yet.

They slept on chairs placed at the passenger waiting area.

“Diri lang gyud usa mi ani hangtud maka larga na mi,” she said.

There are also those who placed mats on the cemented floor of terminal 1 so they can sleep.

Entrance gates at the ports of Cebu remained close to prohibit the entry of vehicles into the port area.

Fastcraft and slow boat ticketing offices located at piers 1 and 3 remained open to address travelers queries but they beg off from issuing new travel tickets.

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