LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 16 (PNA) -- As the weather normalizes in the Bicol Region, disaster authorities on Sunday allowed 3,732 stranded passengers to travel from the ports of Albay, Masbate, Catanduanes and Camarines Sur to sail, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol said.
The Philippine Coast Guard gave the green light after the local weather bureau announced in its 8:00 a.m. advisory that Bicol region’s weather is back to normal, according to Bernardo Rafael Alejandro, OCD-Bicol director.
“It is a normal practice that we allow passengers to leave and ships to sail following the lifting of all public storm warning signals over the region,” he said in a phone interview.
Alejandro said majority of the passengers who were allowed to sail were bound for Samar and Leyte provinces in the Visayas.
He said as weather has improved various Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (PDRRMC) and Municipal DRRMCs could start decamping the 1,566 families or 7,380 persons who sought refuge in various evacuation centers in Albay, Camarines provinces, Catanduanes and Sorsogon.
OCD-Bicol’s initial report on Sunday indicated that 12 towns in Bicol were affected by floodings brought by the downpour spawned by typhoon Karen on Saturday.
Landslide hit San Andres and Gigmoto towns in Catanduanes and Irosin town in Sorsogon.
Total power blackout has been reported in the entire province of Catanduanes since Saturday while power outages affected 10 towns in Camarines Sur, three towns in Camarines Norte, two towns in Sorsogon and some areas in Albay.
Alejandro said the Catanduanes DRRMC is still validating reports of two-typhoon related deaths and three missing fishermen. But flight operations of commercial aircrafts to and from the region is back to normal. (PNA) BNB/MSA/RSM