By Tara Yap
Iloilo City — Popular beach destination Boracay Island in Aklan province was not spared from the effects of tropical storm Urduja as tourists were stranded while the island itself is flooded.
Councilor Nenette Aguirre-Graf of Malay town said 1,200 people have been stranded in Boracay Island while another 872 people are stranded in mainland Malay as of Dec. 17. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) suspended the very short sea travel as Aklan province has been under storm signal.
The Malay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) also reported that 90 percent of Boracay Island has been hit by floodwaters.
Pia Carmela Miraflores, executive director of Boracay Foundation Inc., told Manila Bulletin that all flights at Boracay Airport (Caticlan Airport) are cancelled while the airport is slightly flooded.
Authorities are awaiting the lifting of the sea travel suspension as some tourists have been stranded for more than three days.
In other parts of Western Visayas, the PCG-6 has also cancelled sea trips. It included the trips of fastcraft between Iloilo City and Bacolod City.
In Capiz province, 48 barangays are flooded while 301 families have been evacuated.
In Iloilo City, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-6) has distributed food to those passengers stranded in various ports and wharfs.
Police Regional Office (PRO-6) reported that 51 families in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental were evacuated.
Meanwhile, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD-6) is awaiting reports from the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (DRRMCs) from the six provinces.