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Thousands of passengers stranded in Surigao due to “Auring”

SURIGAO CITY, Jan. 5 (PNA) -– A huge number of passengers, including vacationists bound for Manila, Cebu and other parts of the country, were stranded at air and seaports here for the past two days due to tropical depression “Auring”, this was learned on Monday.

The cancellation of flights and vessels were strictly enforced by the Air Transportation Office and Philippine Coast Guard since last Friday due to continuous rainfall spawned by “Auring”.

Several passengers, mostly students and vacationists, were stranded at San Jose Seaport, Lipata Port Terminal, Surigao City Airport, Dapa Seaport and Dinagat Seaport.

“We cannot still determine the resumption of scheduled regular flights here because of continuing heavy rains,” said airport authorities.

It was learned that some of the vacationers already went to Butuan City to book for their flights.

Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco T. Matugas asked air and coast guard authorities to find means on how to help the stranded passengers at various ports in the city and nearby areas.

On the other hand, Northeastern Mindanao Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Regional Director Dr. Blanche T. Gobenciong said that all disaster councils in the region are on alert due to “Auring” even as there has been no reported major effect of the first tropical cyclone to develop in the country this year.

The Surigao City Disaster Coordinating Council is already monitoring the effect of “Auring.”

PAGASA has raised public storm warning signal No. 1 the provinces of Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands and Siargao Island.

All members of the disaster councils in the province have been dispatched to personally look the damage on infrastructure and agriculture, Matugas said.

Some roads in Surigao del Sur, particularly in Lanuza, and in Claver, Surigao del Norte were reported hit by landslides.

However, Public Works and Highways Undersecretary Romeo S. Momo said that Lanuza area and Claver and other roads hit by landslides in Surigao del Sur are already passable.

“Our ground engineers, technical men and workers along with earth-moving equipments were already on the ground to clear the debris due to landslides that blocked some roads in the region,” Momo said. (MUC/PNA)

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