Gale Warning Still Up In Cebu: Lapu sends food packs to Olango Island families

By: Futch Anthony Inso August 10,2019 - 01:16 PM

The Lapu-Lapu City government sent 1, 000 food packs to families in Olango Island on board a Philippine Coast Guard vessel on Friday. /Photo from the Facebook page of Nagiel Bañacia

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – With sea travels still suspended, Mayor Junard Chan already started sending food packs to families in Olango Island who were unable to cross to mainland Lapu-Lapu City to buy their supplies.

City Hall sent today, August 10, the second shipment of relief goods for island residents. This consisted of rice, canned goods and noodles.

The first shipment of about a thousand food packs was made on Friday after Chan also boarded a Philippine Air Force chopper to personally visit the island. The goods were transferred from mainland Lapu-Lapu City to Olango Island on board a PAF chopper and a Philippine Coat Guard vessel then.

“Actually dili gyud to siya daghan kaayo ang na dala gahapon. Mga a thousand rato unya we need at least 3,000,” Chan said.

(What we transport yesterday was not enough. We only managed to send about 1,000 food packs while the island’s actual need is about 3, 000 food packs.)

Sea travels to Olango Island and the three neighboring islets of Caohagan, Caubian and Pangan-an were ordered suspended on Sunday afternoon because of huge waves in these areas.

In its Gale Warning No. 23 issued at 5 a.m. today, August 10, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration Pagasa said that sea waters in Cebu and the rest of the Visayas remains from rough to very rough with a wave height of 2.8 to 4.5 meters. Wind velocity remains between 45 to 63 kilometers per hour (kph).

With the Pagasa advisory, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has barred motor banca and other vessels weighing less than 250 gross tonnage from sailing.

Chan said they are sending the second batch of food packs to Olango Island today, but he is yet to determine how many food packs will be included in the shipment.

He said that they are yet to send food packs to families in the neigbhboring islets of Pangan-an, Caohagan and Caubian because they continue to wait for advise form the Pagasa on the lifting of the gale warning.

Unlike Olango Island, the three neighboring islets do not have their own ports that may be used for the transfer of the food packs there.

Nagiel Bañacia, head of the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said that food packs may be airlifted to the islets of Pangan-an and Caohagan but the same cannot be done in Caubian.

Not wanting to waste time, Chan said that personnel from the City Social Welfare Office continue to repack the remaining 150 sacks of rice that they now have at their warehouse.

The city government will later on set aside P7 million from their quick response allocation to replenish supplies that were set aside for island residents.

Chan said that he is also coordinating with the Mactan Electric Company (MECO) so that fuel will be sent to the island to ensure their continuous power supply.

Bañacia said in an earlier interview that fuel supply for the MECO substation in Olango Island is expected to last only until today. Rotating brownouts had already been implemented in the island the last few days.

Chan said that with the scarcity of fuel supply in the island, prices of oil already surged to as much as P100 per litter./dcb

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