Air, sea travel suspended in Bicol due to typhoon Nina

LEGAZPI CITY–Air and sea transportation across Bicol have been cancelled on Saturday as typhoon Nina threatens to hit the Bicol region on Sunday, the Office Of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol said.

Bernardo Rafael Alejandro, OCD Regional Director and Bicol Regional Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) Chairperson, on Saturday said the plane flights of Cebu Pacific Air from Manila to Virac, Catanduanes, Legazpi, Naga City and Cebu have been cancelled Saturday due to the typhoon.

He added 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 as of 12 noon Saturday.

Alejandro said the number of cargo trucks, passenger buses and cars stranded in Matnog and Pilar ports in Sorsogon and Pasacao in Camarines Sur have reached 330.

He said the Philippine Coast Guard Bicol has suspended sea travels in major ports in Bicol after the state weather bureau raised tropical cyclone warning signal number 1 over the six Bicol provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Masbate, including Ticao and Burias Island.

As typhoon Nina intensifies, the RDRRMC and local disaster councils have been placed on red alert status which Alejandro said means that the “deployment of disaster response units are in place for mobilization and evacuation operation.”

He said land, sea and air rescue units and communication equipment have been prepositioned and on stand by.

“All government hospitals are on code white alert status which means on emergency and standby mode,” added Alejandro.

The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol has reported that health emergency teams are on standby while some Php 1.6-million worth of assorted drugs and medicines have been inventoried and stockpiled.