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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesThursday, December 6, 2012
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Storm surge wrecks seaport
infrastructure in Dumaguete

A storm surge that lasted a few hours at the height of super typhoon “Pablo” Tuesday in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, damaged infrastructure at the city port.

The Philippine Coast Guard station in Dumaguete reported that the storm surge triggered unusually huge waves and lasted for three hours, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The relatively new modern passenger terminal incurred the most damage after big waves of as high as five feet battered the city port.

The offices of the Coast Guard, the Philippine Ports Authority and the Bureau of Customs were flooded with sea water that rose up to about 2.5 feet.

PPA Dumaguete manager Anale Maneses could not be contacted as of press time on the damages incurred with the destruction of the covered walkway at the passenger terminal.

The city port was closed to traffic yesterday, except for passengers who boarded vessels from Dumaguete for various destinations after the PCG allowed the resumption of sea travel.

No one was reported hurt in the storm surge, although around 60 families in the coastal barangay of Looc, where the port is located, were evacuated to safer ground after rising sea water levels inundated their homes.

The PCG said it was like a mini tidal wave, aggravated by high tide in the early afternoon.

No vessels were docked at the city port when the storm surge occurred. However, the barge of Delta Ferries, anchored to one of the piers, was pushed to the shoreline, hitting the Rizal Boulevard seawall, where it now lies grounded.

Initial investigation showed that, at around 6:30 p.m., the floating barge, that is used as both the passenger terminal and docking bay of Delta Ferries, was hit several times by big waves, that disengaged its anchors from the pier.

No persons were on board it at this time.

The Coast Guard has asked the Delta Ferries operator, Mark Gobonseng, to file a protest with the Maritime Industry Authority.

PCG station commander, Senior Chief Petty Officer Nelson Simbajon, said the beached floating barge cannot yet be removed from its location pending investigation by the MARINA.

An inspection also has to be undertaken to determine the safety of the floating dock barge, or whether there are leaks, before it can be towed away from shore.

Meanwhile, more than 10 vessels plying the Dumaguete route, or bound for the southern islands, were told to seek shelter at Bais Bay in Bais City, Tuesday.

As early as Monday, the PCG had suspended sea travel from all points in Negros Oriental in anticipation of “Pablo”.*JFP

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