Saturday, December 24, 2016

Nearly 2,500 passengers stranded in Bicol sea ports; gov’t hospitals on code white alert
By Connie B. Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 24 (PNA)--The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol reported that nearly 2,500 passengers have been stranded in various sea ports in the Bicol region since yesterday after Coast Guard authorities cancelled the sailing of all sea crafts due to bad weather spawned by typhoon "Nina."

As of 12 noon today, typhoon Nina was spotted 445 kilometers East of Virac, Catanduanes. The state weather bureau said Nina has slightly slowed down but it has intensified further as it continues to move in a west northwest direction.

Bernardo Rafael Alejandro, head of both OCD-Bicol and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council, said as of 4 a.m. today, the number of passengers stranded in the ports of Pilar, Matnog and Bulan, all in Sorsogon; Tabaco City and Pio Duran in Albay; San Andres in Catanduanes; and Bapor in Masbate have reached 2,499.

He said they have been in these ports since yesterday.

Alejandro said the number of rolling cargoes stranded in these ports have reached 367, majority of them in Matnog port in, Sorsogon where the there were 360 cars, trucks and buses stranded.

He said there were two light vehicles stranded in Pilar port, also in Sorsogon; 2 in San Andres, Catanduanes; and 3 in Bapor, Masbate.

Alejandro said the RDRRMC has issued an advisory to all DRRMCs in various local government units in the Bicol region to be on heightened alert, particularly those in coastal barangays, for possible floods, landslides and storm surges.

Meanwhile, the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) based in this city has now been been placed under the code white alert status so it could respond and ensure efficient services as typhoon Nina approaches the various Bicol provinces.

Dr. Butch Rivera, BRTTH chief of hospital, said all hospital personnel have been directed to report with all leaves of absences temporarily suspended.

“During a code white alert status, all hospital personnel -- general surgeons, orthopedists, anesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses, ophthalmologists and other specialists -- are expected to be on duty," he said.

Rivera has assured that standby ambulances and generators are prepared to ensure effective delivery of services to the public once typhoon Nina hits the Bicol region.

He said all rural health units and birthing facilities in Albay have also been advised by the provincial health office to operate for 24 hours.

Rivera said in cases of emergency, the BRTTH contact numbers are (052)-483-00-17; Globe-0917-571-7234 and Smart-0998-576-2240. (PNA)