‘Typhoon threat lingers’ weathermen warn
People across the country must still prepare for possible tropical cyclones during the remaining months of the year despite the continuing strong and potentially record drought brought on by El Niño.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration emphasized such a point as its forecasters haven’t yet ruled out the occurrence of tropical storms from October to December.
“The threat of TCs still looms even if El Niño is already prevailing so people must prepare for these accordingly,” said Pagasa’s Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section OIC Anthony Lucero.
He noted last week’s onslaught of Typhoon “Lando” (international name Koppu) in Luzon is proof TCs can still occur despite El Niño and the dry condition this phenomenon causes.
“We expect a very large part of the country to experience dry condition due to El Niño but TCs are still possible at this time of the year,” he said.
Latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council showed Lando affecting almost 360,000 families or nearly 1.7 million people in regions I, II, III and IV-A as well as CAR and NCR.
The data also showed a total of 46 deaths and 82 injuries from Lando in the six regions.
Pagasa said Lando’s heavy rains in three days helped increase reserve in Luzon’s dams, however.
Such facilities include Angat Dam where Metro Manila sources some 97 percent of its water, Pagasa noted.
For the remaining months, Pagasa forecasted one to two TCs in each of October and November as well as one in December.
Such TCs can strike either Luzon, the Visayas or Mindanao, noted Pagasa.
“People must still prepare for extreme events like Lando that devastated Luzon,” Lucero warned.
Pagasa’s monitoring showed Lando and storm Kabayan as TCs in the country this October so far.
NDRRMC monitored Lando-induced flooding in Northern Luzon’s Cagayan, Benguet, Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya provinces as well as Central Luzon’s Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Pampanga and Zambales provinces.
The agency also reported monitoring four landslides in Region I and CAR.
Lucero clarified Lando isn’t an unusual occurrence, however. “We had TCs in previous El Niño years,” he said.
The track of Lando is even similar to some of such TCs, he continued.
Pagasa said the Philippines averages 19 TCs to 20 TCs annually.
Lando is the 12th TC in the country this year, Pagasa said.
“That’s less than the normal count, however,” noted Pagasa weather forecaster Rene Paciente.