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Classes suspended in Bacolod; passengers stranded by ‘Kabayan’

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• GILBERT P. BAYORAN

Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary 618th Squadron headed by Aux Commo Dannyl Yap with its workforce and CGSS Bacolod personnel distributed hot meals to estimated 300 stranded passengers due to tropical depression “Kabayan” at Coast Guard Sub-Station Bacolod, BREDCO Port, Bacolod City on December 18* PCGA photo

Regular operations of sea vessels between Negros Occidental, Iloilo and Cebu resumed late yesterday afternoon, after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) lifted Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal in Visayas.

Prior to the announcement, classes in all levels were suspended all over Negros Occidental due to Tropical Depression Kabayan.

“‘Kabayan’ will continue to bring heavy rains and inclement weather conditions, thereby increasing the risks of flooding and rain-induced landslides over various areas of the city,” Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said in Executive Order 071.

However, this week only private schools still have classes in the city, as the Christmas break for public schools already started on Monday, based on Department of Education Order 22.

The cancellation of sea travel to the neighboring provinces of Cebu and Iloilo, as well as Metro Manila, left almost a thousand passengers stranded in various ports, data from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) showed.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, the Coast Guard Station Northern Negros Occidental issued an advisory lifting the suspension of sea travel between Bantayan in Cebu via Cadiz City, Tabuelan, Cebu via Sagay City and Escalante City, Toledo in Cebu via San Carlos City; Dumangas, Iloilo, via BREDCO and Banago Ports in Bacolod City; Iloilo via BREDCO Port in Bacolod City, Bay-Ang Port in Ajuy, Iloilo, via Manta angan in EB Magalona, Negros Occidental and Sibunag Port Guimaras via Pulupandan Port in Negros Occidental.

Data showed that in Bacolod City, 586 passengers were stranded; San Carlos City, 186; Escalante City, 153; and Sagay City, 43.

Commander Joe Luviz Mercurio, chief of Coast Guard Station-Northern Negros Occidental, said there has been a slight increase in the number of passengers as the Yuletide season starts.

“To the passengers affected by the bad weather, they can seek shelter in the facility of the Philippine Ports Authority and the local government units also provide centers for them to stay in. They can approach the PCG units and the PPA personnel,” he added.

Based on the rainfall advisory issued by PAGASA, “light to moderate with at times heavy rains” are expected over Negros Occidental, Guimaras, Iloilo, Antique and Capiz by Monday afternoon.* with PNA reports

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