Hundreds stranded as Coast Guard suspends Zamboanga-Basilan trips

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ZAMBOANGA CITY  (June 2)  — Hundreds of boat passengers are stranded at the ports as the Philippine Coast Guard suspends all boat trips  plying the Zamboanga-Basilan and vice versa  due to rough seas and  bad weather condition brought about by a Low-Pressure Area (LPA).

Lt. Commander Alvin Dagalea, Zamboanga Coast Guard commander, said the boat trips suspension took effect at 1:30 p.m.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) stated in its Weather Advisory No. 3 that “at 10 a.m. Saturday, the Low-Pressure Area (LPA) was estimated, based on all available data, at 380 km. east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.”

PAGASA advised the public and the disaster risk reduction and management offices to continue monitoring the weather as the LPA may develop into a tropical depression within the next 24 to 48 hours.

As of late Saturday afternoon,  ten trips from Zamboanga City to Basilan were affected.

Of the 10 trips affected, eight are from this city to Isabela City, capital of Basilan province, while the remaining two are from here to Lamitan City.

Three shipping firms operate fastcrafts and passenger-cargo roll-on, roll-off vessels serving the Zamboanga-Basilan route via the cities of Isabela and Lamitan.

Dagalea said the boat trips will resume once the weather condition normalizes.

Before the trips were suspended, a RoRo vessel sailing to Isabela City from this city drifted for several minutes after its engine suddenly stopped while it was sailing at the vicinity of the Greater Sta. Island.

The engine malfunctioned after its shaft was stuck, but the vessel reached the destination after its crew  members undertook  the necessary repairs. –Bong Garcia/PNA

 

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