CAMP Simeon Ola, Legazpi City -- Some 8,000 passengers were stranded in major ports in the Bicol provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Camarines Sur in Bicol region after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) cancelled all the trips of commercial vessels and warned fishery vessels of gigantic waves and sea surges as Tropical Depression Urduja intensified on Thursday.
Office of the Civil Defense Regional Director Claudio Yucot reported that as of Friday, stranded passengers at Matnog Port in Sorsogon have reached nearly 3,000 while trucks and buses along the Maharlika Highway leading to Matnog Port was estimated at three kilometers.
Yucot said they have sought the intervention of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Region 5 office to provide food packs to stranded passengers travelling to Allen, Samar, who complained of meager cash allowance for food at Matnog Port. In Tabaco City Port in Albay, stranded passengers have swelled to over 2,000 mostly bound for Catanduanes province and have been moved for shelter to Tabaco City National High School, City-DRRMO head Jerry Molato said.
Molato said the Tabaco City government and Catanduanes province government traditionally share responsibility in providing beddings, shelter, food and transportation to stranded passengers during typhoons.
Yucot alerted disaster agencies all over Bicol against flash floods, landslides as Urduja’s rain-band expanded to 500 kilometers in circumference.
Lucela “Chie” Bermeo, head of the PDRRMO-CamSur, said some 100 personnel of the CamSur “Incident Management Team”, consisting of rescue workers, the PNP, Army and first-aid teams have been fielded in high-risk areas of Iriga City, Sagñay, Balatan, Lagonoy, all in CamSur with numerous prone-disaster areas. She said the teams will readily augment the LGUs disaster response teams, once needed.
Meanwhile in Buhi, CamSur, Antonio Aguinillo of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported on Friday that strong lake water current brought about by continuous rains due to the typhoon resulted in fish kills since Thursday.
Aguinillo said this caused tilapia prices to drop significantly from P120 to P20 per kilo at Buhi public market.