By Chito A. Chavez
Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) No. 1 is up in 26 areas as Tropical Depression Basyang is now over Bohol Sea after crossing Surigao provinces and Agusan Del Norte on Tuesday afternoon.
In its 2 p.m. weather bulletin yesterday, Pagasa said the areas under TCWS No. 1 include Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo groups of islands, Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Bohol, Cebu, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Southern section of Samar, Southern section of Eastern Samar, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Northern Section of Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental and Northern Section of Zamboanga del Norte.
In Cebu, a fisherman has been reported missing between the islands of Gibitngil and Kinatarcan in Medellin, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Assistant Department Head Toch Dela Cruz reported.
The missing fisherman was identified as Demetrio Booc. He reportedly went out to sea to fish around 11 last night.
The state weather bureau noted that the center of the cyclone was estimated at 60 kilometers south of Maasin City in Southern Leyte packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 80 kph.
PAGASA noted that the storm will likely take the west northwest direction at 27 kph as scattered to widespread moderate to heavy downpour will prevail over Palawan and Visayas.
Scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be experienced in Bicol, Mindanao areas and Mimaropa.
PAGASA cautioned that sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas under TCWS and in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and of Visayas, the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, the eastern and southern seaboards of Southern Luzon, and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao due to the Tropical Depression and the surge of the Northeast Monsoon.
If Basyang proceeds with its original path, PAGASA weather specialist Ariel Rojas said the next landfall will likely be in the area of the southern part of Bohol.
Meanwhile, classes were suspended in the islands of Cebu, Bohol and Negros yesterday due to “Basyang.”
In Cebu province, all classes were suspended of 2 p.m. yesterday.
Dela Cruz said that the rains affected three towns near shoreline, causing the evacuation of the 64 families from the town of Alegria, and many families in Bojoon and Ginatilan towns.
Dela Cruz said that they already deployed three disaster management teams that will take action to any emergency and response situation.
In Negros Occ.
The Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Program Division reported that 10 local government units in the province had suspended school classes due to typhoon Basyang yesterday.
PDMPD head Zeaphard Caelian said four municipalities and six cities of Neg. Occ. announced the suspension of classes in both public and private pre-school, elementary and school due to Basyang which weakened into a tropical depression yesterday morning.
These LGUs were cities of Bacolod, Talisay, Silay, San Carlos, and Bago, and towns of Murcia, Pontevedra, La Castellana, and Hinobaan.
Negros Occidental together with Negros Oriental is under Storm Signal No. 1 with Basyang continues to have its landfall yesterday, Caelian said.
As of press time, there was no damage reported from around the province as the local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices continues to monitor their respective areas, he added.
The Philippine Coast Guard also canceled all sea travel starting 2 p.m. on Monday, said Lt. Senior Grade Jimmy Oliver Vingno, Philippine Coast Guard-Bacolod Station head, and caused numerous passengers to be stranded.
PDMPD have also issued a preparedness advisory to the city and municipal disaster risk reduction management offices and directed responders to be on standby alert, Caelian said, as they are on Blue Alert, which means preparation for a slow onset disaster, he added.
Stranded in Cebu
More than 1,000 passengers were stranded in Cebu City after 37 vessels were not allowed to sail yesterday due to typhoon Basyang.
Philippine Coast Guard-Cebu Station Commander Jerome Cayabyab said 1,560 passengers were stranded as all trips were cancelled.
Also stranded were 233 rolling cargoes, said Cayabyab.
As of 1 p.m. yesterday, the entire Cebu was still placed under signal number 1 although typhoon Basyang has already weakened into tropical depression after its landfall in Surigao del Sur early in the day.
Hundreds of passengers bound for Cebu City have been stranded at the Ormoc City Port since Monday evening.
Ormoc City Administrator Vince Emnas said the passengers have been stranded at the city port after the Philippine Coast Guard did not issue travel permit for the fast crafts to sail as a result of Tropical Depression Basyang.
Meanwhile, many areas in Tacloban City and in some parts of Leyte are now flooded as a result of the heavy rains from the bad weather.
Classes in Tacloban City and some parts of Leyte have also been cancelled because of the strong rains and bad weather because of the typhoon. (With reports from Lesley Vestin, Mark L. Garcia, and Nestor L.Abrematea)
Tags: 'Basyang', 1 missing ferry passengers stranded as ‘Basyang’ crosses Visayas, Agusan del Norte, Department Head Toch Dela Cruz, disaster risk reduction, Negros Occidental, Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, Philippine Coast Guard, tropical cyclone warning signal, tropical depression