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No sail policy, airport operations suspended amid super typhoon

  • No sail policy for all types of ships, including fishing vessels, enforced in areas where Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals were raised
  • 24-hour closure of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to all types of flight operations from 10:00 AM of November 1 to 10:00 AM of November 2
  • Super typhoon Rolly (international name Goni) made landfall in Catanduanes and Tiwi City early morning of Nov 1

Maritime and aviation agencies respectively imposed a no sail policy and suspended airport operations as super typhoon Rolly (international name Goni) made landfall in Catanduanes and Tiwi City on November 1.

A no sail policy for all types of ships, including fishing vessels, was enforced in areas where Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals (TCWSs) were raised, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said in a statement.

Vessels in these areas were advised to take shelter while ports and other maritime infrastructures, including their equipment, were to be secured. 

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also ordered strict round-the-clock monitoring of movements for both ships and passengers across the country, especially in Southern Luzon and in the Bicol region, which lies on the path of Typhoon Rolly.

The PCG Command Center, all Coast Guard Districts, Stations and sub-stations were ordered to be on standby to immediately respond during emergency situations, in coordination with various local government units (LGUs) and disaster response teams (DRTs).

In addition to monitoring movement of Typhoon Rolly and enforcing the no sail policy, the Maritime Sector of the DOTr has placed on standby Deployable Response Groups (DRGs) composed of expert divers, rescue swimmers, paramedics and K9 teams.

These DRGs will be coordinating with various LGUs and DRTs for evacuation and rescue operations in high-risk areas while observing strict health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

For their part, the Philippine Ports Authority and Cebu Port Authority ordered all Port Management Offices to closely monitor the severe weather bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and to disseminate guidelines and operating procedures in ports to ensure safety of vessels, port facilities, port users and port operators.

Vessel operators in areas affected by Typhoon Rolly were advised to shelter their vessels, secure port equipment and infrastructure, and ensure a sufficient number of crew are on standby depending on the TCWS raised.

Port managers were ordered to maintain contact with PAGASA and the PCG every four hours. 

READ: Manila port operators announce port schedule in preparation for Typhoon Rolly

Harbor masters were directed to establish contact/coordination with vessels in ports, while port managers were ordered to make sure stranded passengers are provided with basic necessities and accommodated in public and private ports. 

PCG Coast Guard Public Affairs Office acting commander Armando Balilio said vessels in Manila Bay took shelter as far as Romblon. PCG also forewarned all shipowners and ship captains not take any chances and find safer sheltering areas to avoid sea accidents.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) has ordered domestic shipowners, bareboat charterers, motor banca operators and ship operators to comply with the no sail policy issued in affected areas. 

READ: MARINA orders ship owners, operators to prepare for Typhoon Rolly

In compliance with the policy, big and small watercrafts should not sail during the announcement of weather disturbance signals in their areas of operation. 

MARINA instructed officers and crew members to be on alert and actively monitor abrupt changes in weather conditions as areas considered sheltered may quickly become exposed during harsh weather conditions.

The agency directed constant monitoring of communication equipment of all vessels to maintain safety of life at sea, and to avoid disasters during the onslaught of Typhoon Rolly. 

Airports closed

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) announced a 24-hour closure of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to all types of flight operations from 10:00 AM of November 1 to 10:00 AM of November 2.

MIAA said it had adopted pre-emptive measures to cushion, if not avoid, the adverse impact of typhoon Rolly to NAIA operations.

Ground handling companies were directed to ensure the safety of their ground equipment to prevent any damage to property and aircraft. The MIAA engineering was also instructed to inspect all billboard sites within the airport complex to inform owners to roll up all tarpauline ads and conduct necessary reinforcement of frames to avoid accidents caused by falling billboards. Pruning of trees at parking lots and roads around the airport complex has been done.

Once NAIA reopens on November 2, priority will be given to scheduled flights on the same day. Flights affected by the 24-hour closure will be slotted in a way that would cause minimal delay in the passengers’ travel plans.

MIAA general manager Ed Monreal ordered the operations team to lift the scheduled runway maintenance closure for November 2 to enable recovery flights to come in.

Airline ground handling agents were reminded to implement maximum deployment of personnel both inside the terminals and at the ramp and ensure availability of enough ground equipment once flight operations resume.

All passengers with scheduled flights to and from Clark International Airport from November 1-2, 2020, meanwhile, were advised to coordinate with their airlines prior to proceeding to the airport for any possible flight delay or cancellation.

Super typhoon Rolly made landfall in Catanduanes in the early morning of November 1 and made a second landfall in Tiwi, Albay.

After traversing the southern portion of Catanduanes, PAG-ASA said the center of the typhoon will cross Lagonoy Gulf and make landfall over the southern portion of Camarines Sur or the northern portion of Albay this morning (Nov 1).

Afterwards, the center will cross the Camarines Provinces before heading towards Calabarzon this afternoon.

Super typhoon Rolly is forecast to exit the mainland Luzon landmass and emerge over the Philippine Sea early morning on November 2.

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