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Dumaguete City, Philippines Friday, February 17, 2017
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Gale warning cancels trips to Negros

A gale warning from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration yesterday forced eight inter-island vessels to cancel their trips out of Cebu, stranding hundreds of passengers in Cebu ports.

            Gerald Medina of the Philippine Coast Guard in Cebu said the vessels that cancelled their trips were bound for Guihulngan in Negros Oriental, and Estancia and San Carlos City in Negros Occidental.

            Most of these vessels cross the Tañon Strait, the body of water separating the islands of Cebu and Negros.

            Jhomer Eclarino, Pagasa weather specialist in Mactan, said the gale warning was issued not just over Cebu but also in Negros Occidental and the rest of the western and eastern coasts of Visayas.

            Eclarino said the strong winds in these areas cause waves that are two to three meters high, which are dangerous for small vessels.

            Cebu has also experienced light to moderate intermittent rains since yesterday morning.

            Eclarino said moderate rains are usually experienced in the afternoon or evening.

            Pagasa said the tail-end of a cold front affecting Mindanao will cause rains over the island.

            In its 24-hour forecast, Pagasa said cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flash floods and landslides will be experienced over Caraga, Davao and Soccsksargen.

            Pagasa also cited that the northeast monsoon is affecting Luzon and Visayas.

            Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms are expected over central and eastern Visayas, and over the rest of Mindanao.

            Cloudy skies with light rains will be experienced over Cagayan Valley, Bicol, rest of Visayas and the provinces of Aurora and Quezon. The rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains.

            Moderate to strong winds blowing from northeast will prevail throughout the archipelago with moderate to rough seas, Pagasa said.*PNA

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