100 vessel to join fluvial procession

CEBU, Philippines - The Philippine Coast Guard-Cebu expects almost a hundred vessels to join the fluvial procession today in seawaters off the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

The PCG registered at least 85 vessels but the number may increase as they are expecting other smaller vessels to join today despite not registering with their office.

PCG-Cebu District Commander Rodulfo Villajuan said they have designated areas where small and large vessels should stand by.

"Hindi maiiwasan na may mga sasali kaya hindi na naming ma-hold 'yan but we have to make sure na andu'n sila sa hulihan," Villajuan said.

He added that he designated a task group to take charge of the line formation between the vessels to avoid possible incidents.

"Ninety eight percent ready na kami ngayon kasi hirap namang sabihing 100 percent, hindi naman kami perpekto," Villajuan said.

Furthermore, the head of PCG Central Visayas, Commodore William Melad, said they will base the decision to continue or cancel the fluvial procession on the weather advisory by PAGASA.

As of 6:30 p.m. last night, Melad said they have not yet decided on the matter while preparations continued for the fluvial procession from Ouano Wharf in Mandaue City to Pier 1 in Cebu City.

PAGASA Mactan officer-in-charge Al Quiblat said tropical depression Agaton, the first weather system for the year, will bring rains up to the Fiesta Señor on Sunday if it does not dissipate.

The state weather bureau yesterday placed Southern Leyte under public storm signal number 1, the lone Visayas area, together with Mindanao areas of Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

Quiblat added that the public must be alert for possible landslides and floods.

Waves measuring 3.4 meters to 4.5 meters high are probable in the Visayan seaboard, sea crafts that plan to sail have been cautioned.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said everyone must contribute to fervent prayers in order to have good weather condition for the fluvial and solemn procession.

"We just continuously pray and prepare because that's the only thing we can do. But knowing Sto. Niño, there might be miracles. The adjustments would be to bring umbrellas…don't bring too many cars to lessen traffic congestion," Rama said.p (FREEMAN)


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