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MOTORISTS  PLYIMG  Manila’s streets have been advised to avoid Roxas Boulevard, R10 and other roads leading to the Port of Manila due to a massive traffic jam caused by the slow processing of trucks in the port due to the inclement weather.

Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, in a message sent to reporters by his Chief-of-Staff Cesar Chavez on Friday, warned drivers that the traffic jam could last until evening.

“Inaasahan po namin na tatagal ang trapikong ito hanggang mamayang hapon, at maaari ring abutin hangang mamayang gabi (We expect this traffic jam to last until this afternoon, and it could even last until this evening),” Domagoso said.

He asked truck drivers to avoid completing their journey towards the pier if they were still outside the city.

Chavez said he was informed by Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago that port operations at the South Harbor had been shut down since Thursday afternoon due to the severe weather disturbance caused by Typhoon Hanna and the enhanced southwest monsoon.

In his text message to Chavez, Santiago said wind speeds of up to 16 meters per second had forced the port’s cranes to a full stop.

Intermittent wind speed patterns and uncertainty in safety meant operations at the South Harbor were suspended at the discretion of operators, Santiago said.

“As a result, nag-ipon-ipon ‘yung mga truck sa (the trucks piled up at the) port gates and surrounding premises, contributing to vehicular congestion along major thoroughfares leading to/from port gates in South Harbor,” his text message read.

Port police and security guards were working to manage the traffic in the area, Santiago added.

The Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office had been dispatched to help ease the impact of the congestion, Chavez said.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago said they have coordinated with the International Container Terminal Services to help reduce the impact of the severe gridlock. (By Raymond Carl Dela Cruz)

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