Ulysses strands over 700 passengers in Bicol


TABACO CITY — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Tropical Storm Ulysses has stranded more than 700 passengers in Bicol ports as several ships and motorized bancas took shelter.

The PCG said 746 passengers, including drivers and helpers; nine vessels, and 293 rolling cargoes were stranded in various port terminals in Matnog, Pilar, Legazpi, Tabaco, Pio Duran, Bacacay, Masbate, San Jacinto, and Cataingan.

In Southern Tagalog regions, the PCG said 29 vessels and over 30 motorized bancas have also taken shelter in Real, Lucena, Balanacan and Romblon ports.

PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. said all PCG units stationed in areas expected to be directly hit by “Ulysses,” including Metro Manila, have been ordered to intensify precautionary measures. “Let us monitor closely and prepare accordingly to ensure maritime safety at all costs,” he added.

Ursubia said PCG districts must ensure their deployable response groups (DRG) and quick response teams (QRT) are prepared before the expected landfall of Ulysses on Thursday (November 11).

“It may take a week if we’ll wait for a directive to mobilize. It’s important that we begin preparing right now,” he stressed.

He said all available vessels have been tasked to take shelter in the Visayas while the DRGs in Bicol, the   National Capital Region, Quezon province, Rizal, Bulacan, Bataan, and Zambales have been directed to prepare for possible evacuation and rescue operations.

“Coast Guard units in areas that will not be directly affected by Typhoon Ulysses are tasked to coordinate with their respective PCG Auxiliary Squadrons to gather and repack food, medical supplies, and other relief goods as early as today,” he said.

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