BACOLOD CITY — Almost 200 stranded persons celebrated the Christmas holidays in a school shelter in this city after sea travel was suspended since Monday due to Typhoon Ursula.
A report of the Department of Social Services and Development (DSSD) here showed that as of 7:04 a.m. on Wednesday, the headcount has reached 177 for those staying at the Education and Training Center School (ETCS) IV campus.
Social welfare officer Rosalyn Rubrico said in a radio interview that the city government has been providing food and medical assistance to the affected individuals, who included adults, children, and senior citizens.
Personnel of the Bacolod City Police Office and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office have also been assisting them, she added.
The city government often uses ETCS-IV in Barangay 16 as a shelter for stranded passengers because it is located near the BREDCO port at the Reclamation Area.
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Among those stranded were a family of some 20 adults and children, who traveled from Lebak, Sultan Kudarat, and bound for Lambunao, Iloilo to attend a relative’s burial.
A family member said they arrived in Bacolod on Monday night.
“We’re still happy. At least, the accommodation here is good. We have a place to sleep and they provide us food,” she said.
Aside from the provisions provided by the DSSD, Noche Buena treats were also distributed by the Bacolod Chamber Volunteer Fire Brigade among the stranded passengers on Tuesday night.
The Philippine Coast Guard immediately suspends sea travel when Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 1 is hoisted by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) within the vessel’s point of origin, intended route, and its point of destination.
Since Monday afternoon, Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City, has been placed under TCWS Nos. 1 and 2.
As of 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Iloilo and Guimaras were still under Signal No. 2 and Negros Occidental, under Signal No. 1. Nanette Guadalquiver / PNA – northboundasia.com