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8 provinces, 31 areas under state of calamity due to El Niño

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – More than 35 areas across the country are now under state of calamity due to the effects of El Niño.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), eight provinces and 31 cities and municipalities have recorded extreme damage in agriculture, particularly corn and palay, with an estimated value of P5.051 billion pesos.

The areas under state of calamity are:

CAR – Paracelis, Mt. Province

REGION II- Dupax del Norte, Nueva Viscaya

CALABARZON – Quezon Province

MIMAROPA – San Jose and Rizal, Occidental Mindoro ; Sta Cruz, Marinduque

REGION V – Camarines Sur

REGION VI – Lambunao and Bingawan, Iloilo; Murcia, Negros Occidental

REGION VII – Cebu

REGION IX – Zamboanga City

REGION XII  –  COTABATO Alamada, M’lang, Pikit, Aleosan, Magpet, Tulan, Arakan, Cotabato, Matalam, Kidapawan City, Lutayan, Sulatan Kudarat; Alabel Sarangani; Bagumbayan, Sultan Kudarat; T’Boli, South Cotabato; Sultan Kudarat Province

MAGUINDANAO, BARMM

Paglat, Sultan Kudarat; Matanog; Datu Abdullah Sangki ; Pagalungan; Upi ; Ampatuan Province of Basilan

About 164,000 farmers and over 177, 000 hectares of farmlands are now affected, the NDRRMC said.

Meanwhile, the water level in Angat Dam continues to recede due to El Niño.

According to PAGASA, water reserve in Angat Dam has dropped by half a meter to 185.15 meters on Wednesday (April 17) as compared to its measurement yesterday.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) advised farmlands to brace for the possible cut in irrigation once the water level in Angat Dam further drops to 180 meters as the agency opts to prioritize water requirement in Metro Manila. – Marje Pelayo (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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Legazpi City, Albay under state of calamity due to rabies

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The local government of Legazpi City, Albay has declared a state of calamity to access funds which will be used to purchase of anti-rabies vaccines.

According to Dr. Emmanuel Estipona, officer-in-charge of the City Veterinary Office of Legazpi, they already ran out of anti-rabies vaccines.

Based on the record of the City Veterinary Office, the population of dogs in the city is around 22,000 but only 8,000 dogs have been vaccinated for this year.

Estipona said an anti-rabies vaccine is estimated to cost P50. They would need around P800,000 to vaccinate the rest of the dog population.

“Alarming ang case ng rabies. Once na may isang case ka diyan, considered as outbreak iyan kasi hindi iyan normal occurrence sa isang lugar lalo na sa Legazpi. We had 35 last year. In 2017, eleven lang, so nagti-triple, (Rabies is an alarming case. Once you have one case of [rabies], it is already considered an outbreak because that is not a normal occurrence in an area especially in Legazpi. We had 35 [cases] last year, in 2017 it was only 11 — it tripled),” he said.

The City Veterinary Office has warned of filing charges against dog owners who neglect their pets and leave them wandering in the streets.—AAC (with reports from Allan Manansala)

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Expect up to 13 cyclones until December but El Niño may persist until 2020 – PAGASA

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

A damaged building is seen as Typhoon Mangkhut hits Philippines, in Laoag, Philippines September 15, 2018 in this still image obtained from a social media video. PHILIPPINE RED CROSS/via REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines – State weather bureau PAGASA noted that more areas in the country may expect near normal rainfall in the coming months.

This, despite the persisting drought that affects 32 of the country’s major provinces particularly areas in MIMAROPA, Western Visayas and the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Based on PAGASA’s forecast, about 9 to 13 tropical cyclones may enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) before the year ends and those which likely to make landfall are in the months of October, November and December.

The weather agency noted the importance of tropical cyclones because they are the sources of about 50% of water being utilized for domestic requirement especially in Metro Manila.

At present, water level in Angat Dam remains below critical.

It is where Metro Manila sources 96% of its water needs.

PAGASA Hydrologist Sonia Serrano noted that Angat’s current water level is near the lowest ever recorded in 2010.

It is now at 158.4 meters which is 0.8 meters higher than the recorded level of 157.56 meters in 2010.

Serrano also mentioned another low in Angat Dam’s reserve record which was 162.74 meters in 2014.

PAGASA said the effects of El Niño is expected to affect the country until August this year but the phenomenon itself is likely to persist until the first quarter of 2020.

Nevertheless, the weather agency is confident that Angat Dam’s operating level will improve in the coming months specifically in July and in August.

“Hindi natin siya nakikita na biglang tataas except kung mayroong bagyo na talagang tatama, dadaan at magbubuhos ng ulan doon mismo sa Angat dam, (We may not get the sudden rise in [water level] except when tropical cyclones make landfall and drop continuous heavy rainfall directly to Angat Dam),” explained PAGASA Weather Services Chief Esperanza Cayanan.

Serrano, meanwhile, explained that to normalize water level in Angat Dam, it will need more than 300mm of rainfall.

“Gusto nating ma-reach ang 180-meter level na normal operating level ng Angat dam. Ang kinakailangan po natin ay nasa 365mm of rainfall, (We want to reach 180 meters which is the normal operating level of Angat Dam. That will need about 365mm of rainfall),” she noted.

Meanwhile, water level at La Mesa Dam, which is also a source of Manila Water’s water requirement, is now about 70 meters.

PAGASA is concerned, however, that impurities may affect the quality of water to be released in Metro Manila because La Mesa Dam’s intake has not been used for a long time.

 “Ang nagiging problema dito, dahil sa katagalan hindi nagamit ang (dam) intake na iyon (kaya) medyo maburak, (The problem is, the dam intake has not been used and the impounded water is already muddy),” explained PAGASA hydrologist Roy Badilla.

“Ang isyu ngayon (o) parang concern nila, oras na buksan nila iyon [dam intake], sasama ang buhangin pababa. Apektado ang quality ng tubig na isu-supply sa Metro Manila, (So the issue or the main concern is that, when they decide to open the dam intake, all sand and mud will flow with the water. It will affect the quality of water supply in Metro Manila),” he concluded. – with details from Rey Pelayo

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Agri damage almost P8-B due to El Niño—NDRRMC

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported almost P8 billion worth of agricultural damage due to El Niño.

The NDRRMC’s report, released on Friday (May 3), estimated that agricultural damages went up to P7.962 billion. The affected areas include Regions CAR, I, II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, Vl, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII and BARMM.

READ: More areas under state of calamity due to effects of El Niño

There are currently 43 local government that declared a state of calamity due to the severe drought.

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