Thousands stranded as Typhoon Kammuri lashes Philippines

Super Typhoon Kammuri making landfall in the Philippines. Credit: RAMMB/CIRA

More than 5,000 people have been stranded across ports in the Philippines after the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) suspended passenger shipping services due to Typhoon Kammuri. The typhoon made landfall on central Philippines on 3 December 2019.

Heavy rains fell near Mindoro island province, south of the Manila metropolis, by the afternoon before passing into the South China Sea.

Typhoon Kammuri had maximum sustained winds of 155 km (96 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 190 kph (118 mph). Warnings of prolonged heavy rainfall and storm surges of up to 3 m (nearly 10 ft) prompted evacuations of nearly 90,000 people from coastal and low-lying areas prone to flash floods and landslides, according to the Office of Civil Defence.

The PCG suspended sea travel in the northeast, stranding thousands of travelers, cargo ships, and smaller watercraft. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said, “The operations of 1,030 rolling cargoes, 51 motorbancas, and 45 vessels are temporarily suspended, while 125 vessels and 19 motorbancas are taking shelter due to weather condition(s).”

As many as 5,327 stranded passengers were recorded in Southern Tagalog, Western Visayas, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas. Services involving roll-on, roll-off (ro-ro) vessels from Caticlan to Roxas Mindoro; Caticlan to Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro; Caticlan to Batangas Port; and trips in the opposite directions were cancelled.

Motorbanca operations from Caticlan to Santa Fe, Looc and San Jose, Rombon and vice versa were also cancelled.