Cebu vessels grounded for tropical storm Ofel

Posted on October 24, 2012

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October 24, 2012
By Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondent with Correspondent Fe Marie Dumaboc
HUNDREDS of passengers were stranded after the Cebu Coast Guard ordered the grounding of vessels headed to areas affected by tropical depression Ofel.

Oscar Tabada, Mactan office chief of the state weather bureau Pag-asa, said Ofel slightly changed course from moving westward at 15 kph early in the day to west-northwest at 15 kph to Surigao del Norte.

It is expected to be in Panaon Island, Southern Leyte this afternoon and will be over Roxas city by tomorrow and 210 km west of Manila by Friday afternoon.

Other areas under signal number 1 are Leyte, Southern Leyte, Eastern and Western Samar, Dinagat Island, the provinces of Surigao, Agusan and Camiguin and Misamis Oriental.

Despite the slight change of course, Tabada said Ofel will pass by northern Cebu tonight or midnight tonight after hitting Maasin, Leyte this afternoon.

He said Oftel may not pack strong winds but may cause heavy rainfall.

He said Ofel may bring in between 5 mm to 15 mm of rainfall per hour.

Tabada said Ofel’s path may take it towards Danao City and the towns of Carmen, Sogod, Catmon and others.

In Cebu, vessels headed to Bohol and Camotes Island were grounded after the areas were placed under signal number 1.

In Bantayan Island Dale Escario, executive assistant to the mayor, said the town already convened its municipal disaster risk and reduction council.

Fishermen were advised not to venture out to the sea, Escario said.

Cebu Coast Guard station commander Capt. Rolando Punzalan said 240 passengers were stranded in Pier 4 of Cebu City and the ports of Mandaue City, Danao City, Bantayan, Camotes, Carmen, and Dumanjug.

Punzalan said they also suspended the voyages of two vessels from Bantayan to Sagay, Negros Occidental and to Estancia Iloilo due to rough seas.

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