Bacolod City – Sea travel between Panay-Negros-Cebu have been suspended until further notice by the Philippine Coast Guard after Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal 1 was hoisted over Central and Western Visayas, because of Typhoon Odette.
PCG reported that hundreds of travelers and 32 rolling cargoes were stranded at the BREDCO Port in Bacolod City, and other ports in Negros Occidental.
Suspended were sea routes between Bacolod-Iloilo, Bacolod-Dumangas, Escalante City- Tabuelan, Cebu-Sagay City-Tabuelan, Cebu -San Carlos City-Toledo, vice versa.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson already placed all disaster units of various local government units under red alert status yesterday.
Captain Ludovico Librilla, deputy commander of Coast Guard District Western Visayas and commander of Coast Guard Station-Negros Occidental, advised local fishermen not to venture out to sea.
Silay City Mayor Mark Golez yesterday issued an executive order declaring the suspension of work in all government and private offices and classes at all levels, both in public and private, on December 16 and 17, due to Typhoon Odette.
Himamaylan City also declared suspension of work and classes on December 16 and 17 as ordered by Mayor Raymund Tongson.
Typhoon was reported by PAGASA at 495 kilometers East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, with maximum sustained winds of 130 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 160 km/h. It is moving West Northwestward at 25 km/h. Northeast Monsoon affecting Luzon.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the Northeast will prevail over Negros Island and the coastal waters are moderate to rough with an average height of 1.2 to 4.0 meters.
Heavy to intense with at times torrential rainfall is expected in Negros Oriental, PAGASA said.
Brig.Gen. Inocencio Pasaporte, 303rd Infantry Brigade commander, yesterday placed all Army personnel and its line battalions in alert stance.
Mayor John Rey Tabujara has reactivated its Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, following a forecast that Typhoon Odette will traverse Cauayan town.
Tabujara said that he will enforce force evacuation, in case heavy rains will hit the town, especially in flood-prone barangays of Guiljungan, Tiling, Poblacion, Caliling and Inayawan.
Due to the severity of the weather disturbance, Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia has issued an advisory immediately activating the Emergency Operations Center and called all Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Committees, government instrumentalities and the general public to be prepared.
The mayor also advised communities in low-lying, flood-prone areas and those situated along shorelines or near bodies of water to stay alert.
Leonardia, in his advisory, directed all BDRRMCs to activate their Barangay Emergency Operations Center, constantly monitor weather advisories, conduct recoridas to warn residents along shorelines for possible surge, floods and landslides.
Dr. Anna Maria Laarni Pornan, Bacolod’s DRRMO officer, disclosed that Mayor Leonardia also told village heads to identify evacuation centers, preposition relief food and non-food supplies, as well as rescue equipment, prohibit fishing activities when the seas get rough and observe minimum health protocols especially when already at the evacuation centers. (Gilbert Bayoran via The Visayan Daily Star, photo courtesy of PAGASA)