SUPERTYPHOON 'BABS' CLOSES AIRPORTS, PORTS, GOVT OFFICES, SCHOOLS
Manila, Oct. 22, 1998 - Residents of Metro Manila have been advised to stay indoors today and tomorrow as 200 kph winds of supertyphoon Loleng (international code name Babs) lashed across the Bicol Peninsula, on a path that indicates a probable direct hit upon the metropolis. Typhoon Loleng is forecast to cross Manila, Cavite-Laguna-Rizal, or Central Luzon tonight or by dawn tomorrow.
According to an official announcement read on all radio and television stations this morning, government offices will be closed today. The Department of Education also suspended classes on all levels.
The Manila International Airport Authority is expected to make announcements of cancellations and/or diversions of international flights to and from Manila and Cebu.
At the domestic airport, all flights to and from the Manila Domestic Airport have been cancelled.
The Manila South Harbor, hub of major domestic passenger and cargo sea vessels, has kept in port all ships. Likewise, ferry services between Manila, Cavite, Corregidor, Bataan and Zambales have been suspended.
Several boats headed for points south of Manila remain in port, their passengers already boarded when the order to stop sailing came. Shipping companies promised government authorities that they will continue to provide food and shelter for the stranded boat passengers until their respective vessels sail.
Bus terminals are likewise crowded with province-bound passengers, whose trips have to be postponed until the storm passes. All bus trips bound for Samar have been temporarily suspended because the Matnog-Allen ferries remain grounded and the pier terminals at both ends can no longer handle the thousands of stranded passengers, many of whom have slept inside their buses, vans and cars for the past two days and nights.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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