Sailing of small boats in Surigao Norte, Dinagat Islands suspended
BUTUAN CITY — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) stations in Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island provinces ordered the suspension of sea trips by vessels and watercraft weighing 250 tons or less due to bad weather.
“Based on the published gale warning number 9 issued by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) in the morning of November 16, we have issued a suspension of voyage to smaller vessels travelling the routes within the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Dinagat,” said Coast Guard Ensign Jerick E. Maglangit, commander of the PCG station in Surigao del Norte.
The PCG notice said the areas affected by the gale warning are the eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Pagasa had said that Dinagat Islands and the eastern coast of Surigao del Norte was expected to have “rough to very rough sea condition” with wave height of 2.8 meters to 4.5 meters and wind speed of 24-34 knots.
This makes sea travel risky for small sea crafts, Maglangit explained.
Maglangit said the warnings are for areas within 30 nautical miles from the coast.
“Mariners of these vessels are advised to remain in port or seek safe harbor,” the PCG notice said.
“For larger vessels, operating in these conditions require experience and properly equipped vessels, vessel masters, boat captains, ship owners /operators, and coast guard units concerned are advised to take appropriate measures to ensure safety of life at sea,” the PCG further said.
Maglangit pointed out that vessels allowed to sail are further reminded to take precautionary measures and be extra vigilant in monitoring weather disturbances.
“We have already alerted all our coastal guard teams assigned in different municipalities in the province to be on alert and closely monitor the situation as we are not yet sure if the weather is going to get better or worse in the next few hours. So we are closely monitoring and working together with the disaster risk reduction and management offices of the towns in the province,” said Maglangit.
Liza Rosales-Mazo, director of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in the Caraga region, pointed out that it is important for the different assigned agencies to be prepared and not too complacent.
“We are not yet that certain that the Low Pressure Area that is approaching the Philippine Area of Responsibility is going to weaken or develop into a tropical depression in the next 24 hours, but it is still better to be prepared especially that rains can still be a problem along the different landslide and flood-prone areas in the region,” said Mazo.
At 11 a.m. on Thursday, Pagasa warned of a shear line that might bring significant amounts of rain to parts of Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Caraga, and Davao regions.