Bet­ter weather

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - May B. Mi­asco, Mitchelle L. Palaub­sanon and Le Phyl­lis F. An­to­jado

Cebu’s weather con­di­tion is pre­dicted to im­prove to­day as typhoon Om­pong is ex­pected to leave the coun­try, the Philip­pine At­mo­spheric, Geo­phys­i­cal and Astro­nom­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion (PAGASA) in Lapu-Lapu City said.

De­spite this pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment, PAGASACebu of­fi­cer-in-charge Al­fredo Quiblat Jr. told The FREE­MAN that the bureau con­tin­ues to mon­i­tor wind in­ten­sity that is af­fect­ing sea con­di­tions.

He said that as long as Om­pong is still in­side Philip­pine Area of Re­spon­si­bil­ity, the strength of the South­west mon­soon or Haba­gat is still en­hanced, blow­ing strong winds to Cebu’s coast.

As of 3 p.m. yes­ter­day, the gale warn­ing raised over the Visayas re­gion, in­clud­ing Cebu, re­mains, he said.

Om­pong has al­ready crossed the land­mass of north­ern Lu­zon and is pre­dicted to exit PAR by night­time as it heads to Hong Kong.

Cebu will ex­pe­ri­ence fair weather in the com­ing days.

MIN­I­MAL EF­FECT

While Om­pong also dumped rains and winds in Cebu and the rest of the Visayas Re­gion, the of­fice of Civil De­fense-7 re­ported no storm-re­lated in­ci­dent here.

OCD-7 Di­rec­tor Con­cep­cion Ornopia is glad that “zero ca­su­alty and in­jury” tar­get was achieved.

Julius Reg­ner, spokesper­son of the Cebu Pro­vin­cial Dis­as­ter Risk Re­duc­tion and Man­age­ment Of­fice, echoed the good news.

A few trees were up­rooted in San Fran­cisco in Camotes Is­land, but no one was re­ported hurt. No dam­age to prop­erty was also recorded even at dan­ger zones.

Pre-emp­tive mea­sures worked.

At least 148 fam­i­lies sit­u­ated at land­slide prone ar­eas were evac­u­ated pre-emp­tively in Naga City, Man­daue City, Lapu-Lapu City, and Tal­isay City. Sixty-eight fam­i­lies were evac­u­ated in Naga, 11 fam­i­lies were evac­u­ated in Man­daue, 19 fam­i­lies were evac­u­ated in Lapu-Lapu, and 50 fam­i­lies were evac­u­ated in Tal­isay City.

The fam­i­lies re­turned to their homes yes­ter­day. Much of the ef­fect of Om­pong was in­con­ve­nience on the part of pas­sen­gers whose trips had to be can­celled.

At least 654 pas­sen­gers were stranded at dif­fer­ent ports in the prov­ince but were able to travel yes­ter­day.

In Cen­tral Visayas alone, a to­tal of 680 pas­sen­gers, 338 rolling car­goes, 75 ves­sels, and 25 mo­tor banca were not al­lowed to travel, said Lt. Ju­nior Grade Michael John Encina of the Philip­pine Coast Guard.

How­ever, ves­sels trav­el­ling be­tween San­tander, Cebu and Du­maguete in Ne­gros Ori­en­tal with weigh­ing 250gt and above were al­lowed to travel ef­fec­tive 11:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. yes­ter­day.

The Mac­tan Cebu In­ter­na­tional Air­port run­way was also closed yes­ter­day morn­ing for one hour.

In a state­ment, the Mac­tan Cebu In­ter­na­tional Air­port Au­thor­ity and GMR Me­gaw­ide Cebu Air­port Cor­po­ra­tion said it has set up an In­ci­dent Man­age­ment Cen­ter at the new Ter­mi­nal 2 as the cen­tral com­mand post for mon­i­tor­ing Typhoon Om­pong.

“Many of the el­e­ments in th­ese prepa­ra­tions and con­tin­gency mea­sures for this typhoon were based on les­sons learnt from the Xi­a­men in­ci­dent. MCIAA, GMCAC, air­line op­er­a­tors, and the ground han­dling agen­cies have taken the com­mon view that th­ese les­sons must be ap­plied and con­sis­tently sus­tained at MCIA,” said GMCAC Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Ad­vi­sor Andrew Har­ri­son.

CLASSES

Mean­while, the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion in the re­gion re­minded school ad­min­is­tra­tors to hold make-up classes for those ses­sions that needed to be can­celled due to the weather dis­tur­bance.

Lo­cal gov­ern­ment units, in­clud­ing Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu, and Man­daue sus­pended classes in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the pos­si­ble ef­fects of the bad weather.

DepEd-7 Di­rec­tor Juli­eta Jeruta said the makeup classes are nec­es­sary be­cause schools have to reach a re­quired num­ber of classes ev­ery school year.

DepEd Cebu City Divi­sion Supt. Bian­ito Da­gatan said school year 2018 to 2019 has a to­tal of 208 school days, in­clud­ing the five-day midyear in­set of teach­ers and three-day Par­ents Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion quar­terly meet­ing.

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