PAGASA advises LGUs to prepare for extreme weather conditions in Visayas

DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) – Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)-Visayas Field Office advised local government units (LGUs) in Negros Oriental to intensify their preparations to mitigate the adverse effects of extreme weather conditions in the Visayas.

In a recent training on “Disaster Preparedness vis-à-vis Climate Change using Social Media” on July 10, PAGASA chief meteorologist, Engr. Oscar Tabada informed government information officers and some members of Dumaguaete media that LGUs still have time to prepare for the unfavorable situations caused by extreme weather patterns experienced in the central part of the country.

Tabada said, the prevailing El Niño phenomenon is expected to reach its peak during the last quarter of the year or particularly during the months of October-December.
Tabada explained that 80% of El Niño probability is seen during the said period of the year resulting to 41%-80% amount of rainfall or below normal rainfall condition.

Although he noted that this El Niño phenomenon could be mild it is still better to do some preparations to evade its effects. Tabada encouraged the public to save water to counter the negative effects of the prolonged dry season.

But apart from the extended dry season, Tabada also encouraged LGUs to be ready for stronger typhoons.

Tabada presented to the participants the track of tropical cyclones entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by quarter.

It showed that storms getting inside PAR in the months of January-March and from October to December usually hit provinces in Central Visayas.

However, he stressed that LGUs should watch out for the storms on the last quarter of the year since these are strong typhoons.
Tabada added that he personally believes another strong typhoon could enter/hit Visayas in the last three months of 2014.

“I have a gut feeling that (another strong) typhoon would hit Visayas before the year ends. We need to prepare, we need to strengthen our plan,” Tabada said in the local dialect.

Tabada emphasized that early preparations can lessen the number of casualties or extent of damage in times of calamities. He cited the damage and casualties brought by typhoon Pablo and Yolanda in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

These changes in weather systems have a relationship to climate change. Tabada pushed LGUs to strengthen measures to mitigate and adapt to the effects of the on-going climate crisis.

Part of the preparation is crafting effective early warning and disaster response system to forewarn communities on disasters.
Tabada then assured LGUs that the country’s weather bureau is doing its best to compliment LGUs in early warning measures when strong typhoons enter the PAR.

But more importantly, he encouraged everyone to plant trees to counter the effects of climate change.

The event was initiated by the Philippine Information Agency, Smart Communications and the Dumaguete City Press Club. (mbcn/ral/PIA7-NegOr/Article first published at PIA Web on July 15)

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