'Amang' spoils chance of Matnog port passengers to see Pope | Inquirer News
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‘Amang’ spoils chance of Matnog port passengers to see Pope

By: - Correspondent / @SBarramedaINQ
/ 06:17 PM January 16, 2015

NAGA CITY, Philippines — Almost 2,000 passengers, mostly headed for Tacloban City to see Pope Francis, were stranded in Sorsogon’s Matnog port as the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) cancelled all ferry trips crossing to Eastern Visayas due to tropical storm ‘Amang’.

Lieutenant Senior Grade Jerome Lozada, station commander of PCG-Sorsogon, said they have been receiving complaints from the 1,852 passengers who were stranded in Matnog port since Thursday midnight due to rough seas brought about by storm “Amang.”

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He said they immediately cancelled ferry trips from Matnog to Allen port in Eastern Samar after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised public storm signal number 1 over Sorsogon as “Amang” moved closer to Luzon and Visayas.

Eastern Samar was also placed under storm signal number 1 along with the Eastern Visayas provinces of Northern Samar, Samar, Biliran and Leyte, where Tacloban City is located; and the Bicol provinces of Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Burias Island (Masbate), Sorsogon and Ticao Island (Masbate).

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He said 32 cars, 43 buses and 49 trucks have also been stranded with the passengers within the port area.

Senior Inspector Malu Calubaquib, spokesperson of Philippine National Police (PNP) in Bicol, said 38 trucks, 26 cars and nine buses have been stranded in the areas being guarded by the police outside of the Matnog port.

She said 66 trucks were left stationary in their line entering Matnog port while an additional 178 vehicles were also stranded at the PNP control points in Sorsogon City.

Calubaquib added 10 trucks and 35 buses have been temporarily held in terminals operated by Matnog’s municipal government.

At the Bulan port, also in Sorsogon, some 115 passengers were also stranded due to the cancellation of sea trips by the PCG, Lozada said.

Lozada said they expected passengers to complain about the cancellation of trips as most of these people were excited to see the Pope in Tacloban City and waiting for their turn to cross to Eastern Samar since Wednesday.

“We cannot let them cross. Safety first,” he said.

Click here for more weather related news.

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TAGS: Matnog port, News, papl visit, popeinph, Regions, rough seas, Sorsogon, tropical storm Amang, Weather
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