Coast Guard stops ships; thousands stranded

The NDRRMC warns against storm surges, flashfloods, landslides

MANILA, Philippines — Projecting storm surges because of supertyphoon Yolanda, the Coast Guard on Thursday, November 7, stopped ships from sailing leaving at least 2,148 passengers stranded as of 4 pm. 

The Coast Guard stopped 63 passenger vessels, 7 rolling cargos, and 20 motor bancas in the Visayas and Bicol regions, according to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Major Reynaldo Balido. 

Storm surges are big waves generated primarily by strong winds. State weather bureau PAGASA warned residents in coastal areas placed under typhoon signals 2, 3 and 4 of storm surges that may reach up to 7 meters.

Flashfloods, landslides

Residents in low-lying and mountanous areas placed under the same typhoon signals are warned of flashfloods and landslides.

Preventive evacuation has been enforced in critical areas.

Yolanda is located 543 kilometers southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar as of 4 pm Thursday. Typhoon signal number 4 has been raised over the provinces of Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, and Biliran. 

Aside from Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao will also have stormy weather Thursday night even as Yolanda is yet to make landfall Friday morning in the Sounthern Samar-Leyte. 

Yolanda will then move towards the provinces of Masbate, Northern Cebu, Panay, Romblon, Mindoro, and Northern Palawan.

Warning for Luzon

Luzon residents are also warned. “Fishing vessels adn other small sea crafts in Northern Luzon and Eastern Luzon are advised not to venture out into the sea due to big waves generated by monsoon surge,” according to PAGASA.

Disaster response officials are watching Samar, Leyte, and Bohol. Preventive evacuation has been in place in affected areas.

Yolanda is expected to exit PAR Saturday evening, November 9. Weather is expected to improve beginning Sunday, November 10. —