Thousands stranded as 'Feria' affects air, sea travel

Stormy weather brought on by tropical storm Feria (international name: Nangka) affected air and sea travel in the country, leaving thousands of passengers stranded in various air and seaports.

At least 500 passengers bound for Iloilo and Bacolod are stranded with the cancellation of ferry trips in Western Visayas. Roll-on roll-off (ro-ro) vessels also ceased sea travel since Tuesday afternoon after weather bureau PAGASA hoisted Public Storm Signal No. 1 over Northern Negros.

One person, 45-year-old Armin Marcasote, was declared missing and presumed to have drowned in Silay City, Negros Occidental Tuesday afternoon.

Search and retrieval operations have been launched at the Malisbog River for the missing person, according to the Provincial Disaster Management Program Division of Negros Occidental.

A report from Office of Civil Defensa said one fisherman has drowned off the island of Cebu while six others are missing off Cebu and Samar islands. A child is also missing in a flooded section of Romblon island.

The OCD said a school and 23 houses were destroyed.

On Wednesday SeaAir canceled flights from Manila to Tablas, Manila to El Nido, Manila to Caticlan, Manila to Basco, Zamboanga to Tawi-tawi and Zamboanga to Jolo due to inclement weather.

Two Philippine Airlines flights were also canceled as of 7:30 a.m., according to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Media Affairs Office. The flights ae PAL PR 037 from Manila to Caticlan (6:10 a.m.) and PAL PR 038 Caticlan to Manila (8:33 a.m.).

Cebu Pacific also canceled its morning flights from Manila-Caticlan and from Caticlan to Manila. Budget airline Zest Air also canceled its trip from Manila to Marinduque and back for Wednesday.

The Philippine Coast Guard urged ship owners and passengers to take extra precaution as tropical storm “Feria” continues to move towards the Batangas-Mindoro area.

Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo advised the public to plan and schedule their trips to avoid being stranded in cases where sea vessels and passengers cancel trips due to the typhoon.

Under PCG guidelines, vessels of 1,000 gross tons and below shall not sail when Public Storm Signal No. 1 is raised in either of the vessel's origin or route or destination to ensure safety of passengers, vessels and properties. Vessels shall only be allowed to leave the port for the purpose of taking shelter from the storm and of which no passenger will be carried while taking shelter.

The circular also stated that water transportation regardless of size shall not be allowed to sail when Public Storm Signal No. 2 is hoisted, except for the purpose of taking shelter from the storm and of which no passenger will be carried while taking shelter.

Tamayo urged vessel operators to regularly monitor weather forecasts of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) before sailing.

The public is urged to contact the PCG through its hotlines (02 527-3877 and (02) 527-8481 and 0917-724-3682 to report maritime incidents and violations of safety regulations including colorum vessels, overloading or excess passengers, and not wearing of life jackets, among others.

'Feria' maintains strength, threatens Batangas-Mindoro

Tropical storm Feria has maintained its strength and continues to move towards the Batangas-Mindoro area, the weather bureau reported Wednesday.

As of 10 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) said Feria was spotted 60 km Southeast of Calapan City or 80 km Northwest of Romblon.

The storm is moving Northwest at 17 kph with maximum sustained winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.

It is expected to be 70 kms West of Iba in Zambales on Thursday morning and 140 kms Northwest of Laoag City by Friday morning.

Public Storm Signal No. 2 is still hoisted in the provinces of Marinduque, Romblon, Southern Quezon, Mindoro Provinces, Lubang Island, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Bataan, Rizal, and Metro Manila while signal no. 1 is up in the Calamian Group, Cuyo Island, Masbate, Ticao Island, Burias Island, Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Provinces, the rest of Quezon, Polillo Island, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Pangasinan in Luzon and Aklan, Iloilo and Antique in Visayas.

PAGASA said that residents living in low lying mountainous, and coastal areas under storm warning signals No. 2 and No. 1 are alerted against possible flashfloods, landslides and storm surges.


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