ZAMBOANGA CITY — The weather disturbance brought by tropical depression Auring, which has been affecting several Mindanao areas, prompted the cancellation of all domestic flights from and to Pagadian City, on Thursday, and a prohibition on all sea vessels from sailing into open waters in the Zamboanga peninsula.
However, the tropical depression — embedded with the inter-tropical convergence zone, according to the weather bureau’s meteorological chief based in this city — has not delayed or led to the cancellation of flights from and to Zamboanga City, Celso Bayabos, airport manager, said.
Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio Cerilles told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that all domestic flights from and to Pagadian City were cancelled although “there was no official report about the weather.”
“We have observed dark clouds forming over here,” he said.
Maribel Enriquez, chief meteorological officer of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) office here, said two Zamboanga del Sur towns and Pagadian City were in the direct path of the weather disturbance and that landslides and floods were to be expected.
“As of this time, we are experiencing cloudy skies with light showers but we will expect more rains within three days,” she said on Thursday.
The Philippine Coast Guard Zamboanga District has ordered sea vessels to refrain from sailing following the placing of the entire Zamboanga peninsula under Signal No. 1.
Captain Eliezer Dalnay, the Coast Guard district commander, said the prohibition on sailing covered all types of sea vessels, “regardless of gross tonnage.”
“Our circular stated that sea vessels in areas affected by the typhoon or those expected to be affected are prohibited from sailing,” he said.
Dalnay said for those already at sea before the advisory came out, the ship captains have been given the discretion on what steps to take. The Coast Guard, he said, would be releasing advisories to sailing ships via radio.
Acting Governor Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao told the Inquirer, by text message that all disaster management and response teams in the region had been alerted.
In Kapalong, Davao del Norte, a teenage boy was reported missing after being swept by rampaging waters as he was gathering driftwood in a river in Kapalong, Davao del Norte, Wednesday afternoon.
Kapalong Mayor Edgardo Timbol did not identify the missing boy but said the incident took place in Barangay Tiburcia in his town around 2 p.m.
“He was reported swept away while gathering driftwood. I already instructed our local disaster rescue team to search for him,” Timbol told the Inquirer by phone.
He said disaster and village officials had been ordered to monitor water levels in the town’s rivers and streams because of the incessant rains.
“It’s been raining here since [Tuesday] night,” Timbol said.
Sonio Sanchez, Davao del Norte disaster response officer, said authorities were on alert for possible flashflood due to the continued rains since Tuesday.
He said water level in some rivers had started to rise due to the rains but no evacuation has taken place yet.