The number of passengers stranded in Bicol is rising due to the oncoming severe Tropical Storm ‘Karen’ (International name: Sakira).
On Friday morning, some 1,045 passengers have been stranded in ports after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) suspended sailing of sea vessels due to the prevailing rough weather brought.
Updated count of stranded persons include 621 in the port in Tabaco, Albay, 343 in Pilar, Sorsogon, 20 in Virac, Catanduanes, and 61 in Masbate.
There were 37 buses, trucks and cars and 10 sea vessels also stranded in the ports. The number of stranded passenger changes as some find relatives to stay temprarily.
Most of the stranded passengers were bound for Catanduanes while 134 passengers were bound for Samar and Leyte provinces.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical, Services Administration (Pagasa) has placed the Bicol provinces under tropical cyclone warning signals which inlude Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon.
The state weather agency estimated the amount of rainfall from moderate to heavy within the 400-kilometer diameter of the tropical storm.
The Philippine Coast Guard suspended sailing of all types of sea vessels following the hoisting of storm signals in the Bicol provinces while the region Office of Civil Defense (OCD) already has placed its Operation Center on standby 24/7 (blue alert status).
The OCD has also issued a disaster bulletin to the six provincial disaster agencies on blue alert and tasked to monitor the weather situation.
OCD also disclosed there are 28,700 family food packs and 1,500 sacks of NFA rice available at the warehouse of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in its office in Legazpi City.
Non-food items available include as 258,137 pieces of malong, 2,836 rolls of laminated sacks, 1,830 pieces of plastic mats, 1,784 mosquito nets and 1,784 blankets are also available and ready for distribution anytime.
Meanwhile in Sorsogon province, some 10 families or 50 persons living along river channels near Mount Bulusan in Irosin were evacuated on Friday. due to
Threats of possible lahar flows spawned by rains brought by tropical storm Karen, prodded the evacuation.
A preemptive evacuation was carried out Friday morning at about 7 a.m. by the Irosin MDRRMC away from river channels and safe from flooding and lahar flows.
In Albay, the provincial disaster council issued an advisory to the 15 Municipal DRRMCs and three city DRRMCs to be on 24/7 alert for possible flooding, lahar flows and landslides.
Villagers living near Mt. Mayon were warned not to enter the six-kilometer designated Permanent Danger Zone. They were also advised not to cross swollen rivers should rain intensifies.
Both Mt. Mayon and Mt.Bulusan are in restive state and have been placed on alert level one status since September. (PNA)