PH may expect strong cyclones amid El Niño – PAGASA

UNTV News and Rescue
File photo: A residential area in Cavite during the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong in 2018

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The state weather bureau PAGASA warns residents in areas affected by tropical depression Chedeng to be alert as the weather system may still cause damage and accidents.

“Kalimitan malalakas ang dalang mga pag-ulan nito. Pwedeng magpabaha, pwedeng magkaroon ng landslide sa mga area sa kabundukan, (Often they bring heavy rains that can cause flood and landslides especially in mountain areas,) explained Deputy Administrator June Dalida.

PAGASA noted that even though Mindanao is seldom a direct target of tropical cyclones, the region still suffered a significant degree of damage in the past.

These include the lashing of typhoons Sendong in 2011 and Pablo in 2012 where billions worth of properties were damaged and thousands of lives were lost.

The weather agency stressed, cyclones are stronger especially during El Niño.

“Nandyan ang gasoline niya sa pasipiko. So may tendency pa rin tayo na may pumasok. Kaunti nga lang ngunit malakas ang mga bagyo na parating sa atin, (They’re fueled by the Pacific [Ocean] so cyclones are still likely. They may be few, but the cyclones that will enter PAR would be strong ones),Dalida said.

But the sad news is, according to PAGASA, some of them, like the current tropical depression Chedeng, will not bring any rain to Luzon that could have replenished supply in La Mesa Dam.

“Hindi po natin ine-expect talaga na magkakaroon ng increase sa height (ang tubig sa La Mesa Dam) unless na galing po ito sa Angat Dam, (We cannot expect an increase in the volume of water in La Mesa Dam unless it would come from Angat Dam,)” explained PAGASA Deputy Administrator Flaviana Hilario.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has a ready budget of P1.2B to be used in case a calamity strikes the country.

This will be used to prepare food packs and non-food items and as standby fund.

As of press time, the current El Niño event has already incurred almost P870 million worth of damage in agriculture.

The phenomenon hugely affected corn and rice production in the areas of MIMAROPA, in Region 7 and in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM.) – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)  

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