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By: Jhunnex Napallacan, Michelle Joy L. Padayhag and Inquirer December 13,2015 - 11:00 PM

Signal No. 1 in north Cebu due to ‘Nona’

Some 1,532 passengers were stranded in Cebu City ports yesterday after the Philippine Coast Guard-Cebu Station barred sea travel for vessels going to Eastern Visayas and Manila due to bad weather.

The state weather bureau last night placed northern Cebu, including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, under Signal No. 1 as typhoon Nona (international name: Melor) continued to move westward, threatening the Samar-Sorsogon area.

Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez, in a Facebook post, announced the suspension of classes for pre-school and elementary levels in the town.

Classes in pre-school in all public and private schools are automatically suspended in areas under signal number 1.

As of 8 p.m., the typhoon was packing maximum winds of 140 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 170 kph.

Signal No. 3 has been raised over the three Samar provinces and three Bicol provinces. (See related story on page 10)

The typhoon, which is expected to dump moderate to heavy rainfall within its 300-kilometer diameter, is projected to make landfall in Bicol and Samar provinces today.


Philippine Coast Guard-Cebu station commander Agapito Bibat said 15 vessels were barred from sailing yesterday.

The number is expected to increase.

The stranded passengers were booked to travel for Leyte and southern Leyte areas including Palompon, Hilongos, Bato, and Baybay.


MV St Leo The Great of 2Go Travel was supposed to travel for Manila at noon.

But it was not cleared for sea travel because the vessel will pass through northern Cebu and Masbate, which are under signal number 1, and Bicol areas, which are now under signal 2.

Sea travel for other parts of Central Visayas, including Bohol, remained normal since these were not affected by the weather advisory.

Based on the 8 p.m. weather bulletin released by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), typhoon Nona was spotted at 380 kms. east of Catarman, Northern Samar.

It has maximum sustained winds of 140 kph and gustiness of up to 170 kph. It is moving west at 19 kph.

Signal number 3 is hoisted over Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon and Ticao Island, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar and Samar.

Storm surge in these areas could reach 3.6 meters while open sea waves could be more than 14 meters. Winds of up to 170 kph may be expected in 18 hours.

Signal number 2 is up over Masbate, including Burias Island, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Romblon, Southern Quezon, Leyte and Biliran. Storm surge is also possible in coastal areas.

These areas will have winds of 61-120kph in the next 24 hours.

Signal number 1 is raised over Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro and the rest of Quezon as well as over Southern Leyte, northern Cebu including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, Aklan, Capiz, Negros Occidental, Dinagat province and Siargao Island.

These areas can expect winds of 30-60 kph in the next 36 hours.

Classes in pre-school, elementary and high school in all public and private schools are automatically suspended with storm signal number 2.

Classes in all levels are automatically suspended with storm signal number 3.


Commodore Enrico Evangelista, commander of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Central Visayas, said while there is no gale warning in the region, trips going to affected areas are automatically canceled.

“So far there is no reported maritime incident. All PCG units under the Coast Guard District in Central Visayas are on heightened alert effective December 12,” Evangelista told Cebu Daily News.

“The typhoon will be at its strongest on Monday or Tuesday,” Pagasa forecaster Robert Badrina said.

It will start to weaken after hitting land but is expected to remain a typhoon until it exits the landmass from Mindoro province on Wednesday or Thursday if it maintains its current track.

In the next couple of days after hitting land, it will start to weaken but will remain powerful as it cuts westwards.

Pagasa renamed the typhoon Nona from Nonoy at the last minute early Saturday after the cyclone reached the country’s territory.

Pagasa senior weather officer Rene Paciente was quoted as saying Science Secretary Mario Montejo ordered the change of the name since Nonoy resembled the president’s nickname, Noynoy.

Montejo reportedly did not want to associate the president’s name to a potentially damaging typhoon.

Pagasa assigns a local name to a typhoon according to a list that was prepared several years ago.

It is under the Department of Science and Technology.

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TAGS: Albay, Bicol, Catanduanes, Eastern Samar, Medellin, Nona, Northern Samar, Pagasa, Samar, Sorsogon, Storm, weather

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