CEBU CITY ? Over 1,600 passengers were stranded in the different ports of Cebu since Thursday evening after the Cebu Coast Guard barred the sailing of all types of vessels to areas covered by Storm Signal Number 1 because of tropical depression ?Bising.?
Petty Officer 2 Mario Rosaldo Madrigal of the Cebu Coast Guard said that they barred from sailing 33 motor bancas, fast crafts and barges, most of them bound for Bohol and Leyte.
Madrigal said most of the passengers stayed at the passenger terminal, some opting to board the vessels and others going home.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa) said ?Bising? was sighted 30 kilometers northeast of Surigao City as of 10 a.m. Friday.
?Bising? has maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and was moving west northwest at 7 kph as of 10 a.m.
Pagasa placed under Signal No. 1 several areas, including Eastern and Western Samar, Biliran, Leyte provinces, Northern Cebu, Bohol, Dinagat Island, Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Norte.
The weather bureau said ?Bising? would be at 70 kilometers east northeast of Cebu on Saturday morning and 40 kilometers east of Roxas City on Sunday morning.
The different local disaster coordinating councils in Cebu had convened to prepare for the possible effects of the tropical depression.
Some towns in Cebu were affected by flashfloods last week due to a low pressure area that caused the heavy downpour.
In Tacloban City, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Eastern Visayas has urged all provincial officials to activate their respective provincial disaster coordinating councils (PDCC).
OCD-8 chief operations officer Rey Gozon said on Thursday that the PDCCs could help inform residents in areas affected by the tropical depression what could be done to reduce the impact of the depression in their areas.
Classes in the elementary and secondary levels in the region were suspended Friday.
The OCD-8 has yet to receive a report on stranded passengers, he said.
Gozon also urged fishermen using small fishing boats to avoid going out to sea.