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Bus trips to Bicolandia suspended over ‘Tisoy’

LEGAZPI CITY: The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and the Land Transportation Office (LTO) ordered the temporary suspension of bus trips in Metro Manila bus terminals bound for the Bicol, Visayas and Mindanao regions as Typhoon “Tisoy” (international name: “Kamurri”) on Sunday threatened the southern part of the country.

Kammuri was named Typhoon Tisoy after it entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday.

The cancellation of the bus trips came after Claudio Yucot, director of OCD Bicol and chairman of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) asked the LTO and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to temporarily scrap the bus trips to Bicol to avoid leaving passengers stranded as a result of bad weather.

ANTICIPATION A boy helps his father secure their boat ahead of the expected landfall of Typhoon ‘Tisoy.’ The typhoon is headed to the Bicol Region. PHOTO BY RHAYDZ B. GARCIA

Vincent Nato, LTO acting regional director, ordered such cancellation on November 30 through a memorandum to all personnel and deputized agents of the agency.

“Concerned personnel are advised to strictly implement this memorandum in their respective areas of jurisdiction following the RDRRMC letter dated November 29 requesting temporary cancellation of bus trips,” Nato said.

Similarly, Yucot sent a letter to Noreen Bernadette San Luis-Lutey, LTFRB regional director, asking the latter to temporarily cancel the bus trips.

“In connection with the expected weather disturbance, may we request the temporary cancellation of the bus trips especially in terminals going to Bicol ports and traversing island provinces [effective] November 30 or upon the advice of Pagasa (Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration)…,” he said.

Yucot also asked the LTFRB official to include in its advisory private vehicles and trucks in an effort to also avoid leaving passengers stranded.

Reniel Mago of Pagasa Legazpi warned that the entire Bicol Region will not be spared by Tisoy’s fury.

Tisoy with a diameter of 1,000 kilometers was 1,220 km east of Southern Luzon with maximum sustained winds of 150 to 185 kilometers per hour moving west-southwest at 15 kph.

Pagasa said Tisoy is “less likely” to intensify into a super typhoon, but it advised disaster responders not to be complacent.

Bicol will experience moderate to heavy rains and thunderstorms starting Monday, it added.

Arnel Garcia, regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Bicol, said his office has already prepositioned food packs in the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate and Sorsogon as part of of preparations for Typhoon Tisoy.

“There are 18,040 family food packs available at the DSWD warehouse,” Garcia added.

The department also prepositioned additional 3,300 family food packs to Tigaon, Baao, Sipocot and Daet in Camarines Norte and allotted a P3-million stand-by fund.

Earlier, Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara ordered a province-wide suspension of classes beginning on Monday until Tuesday in all levels.

He told the mayors of 15 and three cities to enforce preemptive evacuation for people’s safety.

Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Luis Villafuerte also enforced preemptive evacuation on Saturday.

In a memorandum released also on Saturday, he directed Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (LDRRMCs) to evacuate residents in low-lying areas, areas near mountain slopes, areas at risk of flooding and storm surges; and residents whose houses are made from light materials in 35 towns.

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