ILOILO City – Tropical depression “Usman” weakened to a low pressure area (LPA), according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) yesterday. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Western Visayas thus lifted its order cancelling since Thursday all boat trips.
The trips – from the seaport in Dumangas, Iloilo to Bacolod City and vice versa, and fast crafts from Lapuz (Iloilo City) wharf bound for Bacolod City and vice versa, and other routes – resumed beginning 8 a.m. yesterday, said Lieutenant Commander Ramil Palabrica, spokesperson of PCG Region 6.
“Usman” weakened following its landfall in Borongan, Eastern Samar at 6 a.m. yesterday, Pagasa said.
The LPA was expected to cross the northern part of the Visayas, particularly Panay Island, then cross the Sulu Sea and would be at northern Palawan this morning.
Palabrica said boat trips from Western Visayas to Manila and Cebu also resumed.
He, however, warned marginal fishermen to still not venture out to sea. The LPA would continue to make the seas rough, he explained.
“All the station commanders of PCG in Western Visayas were advised to continue monitoring the weather situation in their areas and not hesitate to cancel boat trips if the condition worsens,” said Palabrica.
The coastguard would be inspecting boats before these leave the ports, he added.
“There will be a headcount of passengers to avoid overloading. Coastguards would also check if there are enough lifejackets in the boats,” said Palabrica./PN