NEARLY 6K PASSENGERS STRANDED IN BICOL PORTS
LEGAZPI CITY -- Close to 6,000 passengers bound for the island provinces in Bicol and the Visayas region had been stranded for the past two days, following the suspension of sea travel in various ports, a police report said on Friday.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) report said 5,537 passengers were still marooned at the ports as of 6 a.m.
PNP Bicol spokesperson, Chief Insp. Maria Luisa Calubaquib, said 4,869 of the stranded passengers were at the Matnog port in Sorsogon, 548 at the Tabaco port in Albay, 108 in Camarines, and 12 in Masbate.
A total of 282 trucks, passenger buses, and light vehicles were likewise stranded -- 244 in Sorsogon, 30 in Albay, and eight in Masbate.
Some 19 ships remained docked -- nine at the ports of Sorsogon, nine in Masbate, and one in Albay.
Calubaquib said no incidence of flooding was reported, while all major roads and highways in the six provinces are still passable.
At least 225 evacuation centers were set up in the region -- 120 in Catanduanes, 72 in Camarines Sur, and 33 in Masbate.
The local weather bureau said Tropical Depression Usman has maintained its course and is heading towards Eastern Visayas.
Storm Warning Signal No. 1 remains hoisted over Bicol. (PNA)
Photo from PAGASA