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.
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.
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.