#NinaPH: Line of vehicles at Matnog Port reaches 4 kms due to ferry cancellations
MANILA, Philippines – If you are still planning to go to Samar by bus, you may want to reconsider. You may end up spending Christmas eve stranded in your vehicle rather than enjoying the holiday with your loved ones.
The line of vehicles trying to cross Matnog Port, Sorsogon to Samar has reached more than 4 kilometers on Saturday, December 24, due to the number of ferry trips cancelled in preparation for the landfall of Typhoon Nina (international name: Nock-Ten).
According to Jhay-R Timosa of the Riders Anti-Crime & Emergency Response (RACER), the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) started cancelling trips at 5PM Friday, December 23, as the typhoon entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
"We were already here since around 11AM yesterday but the line hasn't moved since. There's at least a hundred buses and trucks in this line," Timosa told Rappler.
According to the PCG, there are around 3,682 stranded passengers in various ports in Bicol region, along with 392 RORO ships, as of 8AM Saturday.
Matnog Port is the nearest ferry crossing between Luzon and the Visayas. Many of the passengers stranded, Timosa said, are hoping to reach home for Christmas.
Stranded as of 8am,Dec24 total of 3,682 pax;392 roros17 ves;6 mbcas in Bicol ports brought by Tropical Storm “Nina” #NinaPH— PhilippineCoastGuard (@PhilCoastGuard1) December 24, 2016
According to Timosa, food is the biggest need of passengers stranded in Matnog.
"We came here with only enough food for 24 hours. We've been here for more than that. The problem is that there are no food stalls along the line. It's very far," he told Rappler.
On Friday, December 23, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) advised those planning to travel to Bicol and Samar to take precaution and check for the possible cancellation of trips or flights.
The PCG has yet to release any statement on when the operations for Matnog Port will resume. Typhoon Nina is expected to make landfall in Catanduanes on Sunday, December 25 – Christmas Day at around 8PM.
"It's too late for us to go back to Manila because we've come this far. All we can do is wait," Timosa concluded. – Rappler.com
Stranded passengers in Matnog Port need food and water. Let us know if you're in the area and willing to give donations.