By Betheena Kae Unite
The suspension of port operations at the Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI) in South Harbor, Manila due to inclement weather since late Thursday resulted into a monstrous traffic jam on roads leading to port area Friday.
A long queue of trucks occupied Bonifacio Dr., R10 and the entire Manila Port Area, that stretched to as far south as Roxas Boulevard, Friday morning, causing a gridlock on nearby roads in the city.
The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) explained that the long queue of trucks leading to the terminal gates was due to the “stop-go” operations or the intermittent operations at the ATI starting late Thursday. It added that strong winds and heavy downpour prompted them to suspend port operations.
“We are now utilizing all empty spaces within our jurisdiction to accommodate as many trucks as possible to ease traffic. We are on intermittent operations since last night due to bad weather,” said in a statement.
“From time to time, we had to suspend operations so as not to risk the lives of the stakeholders transacting business inside South Harbor,” it added.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that wind speeds of 16 meters per second meant that the port cranes had to be on full stop.
“With intermittent wind speed patterns, uncertainty in operations translate to a ‘stop-go’ situation or a full suspension at discretion of operators,” The agency said.
According to PPA General Manager Jay Santiago, port police and security were deployed to help manage vehicular traffic on the affected roads on Friday morning.
Meanwhile, the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) in North Port continued with its vessel and yard operations despite the bad weather, and ordered shutting off penalties due to the road blockages.
Port operations in Southern Luzon, including terminals in Batangas, Romblon, Lucena, among others, remained suspended with vessel trip cancellations due to severe weather disturbances as of Friday.