LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines —-A storm surge as high as six meters hit the shorelines of Catanduanes on Tuesday, preventing passenger vessels from docking in the Virac port, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Bicol said.
MV Eugenia, a passenger vessel plying the Virac-Tabaco routes, was forced to return to Tabaco City in Albay due to the big waves battering Virac port in Catanduanes, said Bernardo Alejandro, Office of Civil Defense (OCD) regional director and Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) chairperson.
Alejandro said the Coast Guard in Virac port had to order the ship captain of MV Eugenia to return to the Tabaco port after big waves spawned by the gale force prevailed at the Virac port.
Quoting an initial report from the Catandaunes PDRRMC, Alejandro said the storm surge hit around 25 coastal villages in the towns of Virac, Bato, Baras and Gigmoto.
The report said strong waves forced seawater to encroach into major highways in these area.
The Coast Guard report said 682 passengers were stranded while 19 trucks, 15 buses, seven cars, and four sea vessels were also grounded in the ports of Matnog, Bulan and Pilar in Sorsogon; Pio Duran in Albay; and Cataingan in Masbate.