‘Auring’ slightly accelerates as it nears Eastern Visayas-Caraga area

UNTV News   •   February 21, 2021   •   430

MANILA, Philippines — More areas have been placed under storm warning signals as Tropical Storm Auring slightly accelerated on Sunday afternoon while moving northwestward towards Eastern Visayas-Caraga area, PAGASA said.

The country’s first tropical cyclone for this year was last estimated 355 km east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte as of 4 p.m., moving northwestward at 20 kms per hour towards Dinagat Islands-Eastern Samar-Leyte area, where it is forecast to make landfall on Monday morning, the weather bureau said in its 5 p.m. weather bulletin.

Auring, which is packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 80 kph, is expected to maintain its strength in the next 12 hours. However, the likelihood of weakening into tropical depression before it makes landfall is not yet ruled out.

Moderate to heavy rains are expected in Caraga, Eastern Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Catanduanes, Albay, and Sorsogon.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains may be experienced over Zamboanga Peninsula, MIMAROPA, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Quezon, and the rest of Bicol Region, Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.

PAGASA warned of gale-force winds in areas under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #2 and strong breeze to near-gale conditions with occasionally higher gusts over the areas where TCWS #1 is in effect, as well as over CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Aurora, and the rest of Visayas and Bicol Region.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 2 is hoisted over the following areas:

The central and southern portions of Eastern Samar (Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Borongan City, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Llorente, Hernani, General Macarthur, Quinapondan, Balangiga, Lawaan, Giporlos, Salcedo, Mercedes, Guiuan), the central and southern portions of Samar (Hinabangan, Calbiga, Pinabacdao, Villareal, Basey, Marabut, Santa Rita), the eastern portion of Leyte (Babatngon, Tacloban City, San Miguel, Alangalang, Santa Fe, Palo, Tanauan, Pastrana, Dagami, Tabontabon, Tolosa, Julita, Burauen, Dulag, La Paz, Mayorga, Macarthur, Javier, Abuyog, Mahaplag), and the eastern portion of Southern Leyte (Silago, Sogod, Hinunangan, Libagon, Saint Bernard, Hinundayan, Anahawan, San Juan, Liloan, San Francisco, San Ricardo, Pintuyan)

Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas:

Sorsogon, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, Albay, Catanduanes, the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Caramoan, Presentacion, Sagnay, Buhi, Iriga City, Nabua, Bato, Balatan), and the eastern portion of Romblon (Magdiwang, San Fernando, Cajidiocan)

Northern Samar, the rest of Eastern Samar, the rest of Samar, Biliran, the rest of Leyte, the rest of Southern Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, the northern and central portions of Negros Occidental (Kabankalan City, Himamaylan City, Binalbagan, Isabela, Moises Padilla, Hinigaran, La Castellana, Pontevedra, San Enrique, La Carlota City, Pulupandan, Valladolid, Bago City, Murcia, Bacolod City, Talisay City, Silay City, Enrique B. Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, Toboso, Calatrava, San Carlos City, Salvador Benedicto), the northern and central portions of Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, Estancia, Batad, San Dionisio, Sara, Concepcion, Lemery, Ajuy, San Rafael, Passi City, Bingawan, Calinog, Lambunao, Duenas, San Enrique, Dingle, Anilao, Banate, Janiuay, Badiangan, Pototan, Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Mina, Maasin, Alimodian, Leon, Tigbauan, Oton, Iloilo City, Pavia, San Miguel, Cabatuan, Santa Barbara, New Lucena, Zarraga, Leganes, Barotac Viejo), Capiz, Guimaras, and the eastern portion of Aklan (Tangalan, Malinao, Makato, Lezo, Numancia, Kalibo, New Washington, Batan, Altavas, Balete, Banga, Madalag, Libacao)

Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon

Mark your stargazing calendars! Witness meteor showers, lunar eclipse in May

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Catch the Eta Aquarid meteor shower and the total lunar eclipse in May.

About 20 or more meteors per hour will be seen from the sky as the Earth passes close to the orbit of Halley’s comet, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The meteor shower is usually active between April 19 and May 28 every year.

“The point from where the meteors appear to radiate is located within the constellation Aquarius, the Water Bearer,” PAGASA said.

Meanwhile, on May 26, a total lunar eclipse will be visible in the Philippine sky. The entire event will be seen in South/East Asia, Australia, Much of North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica.

PAGASA said the eclipse will begin at 4:47 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PhST) and will end at 9:49 p.m. (PhST).

In Manila, the moon will rise at 6:14 P.M. on 26 May and will set at 4:49 A.M. on 27 May 2021.

The state weather bureau assured that lunar eclipses are safe to watch and observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes. A pair of binocular will help magnify the view and will make the red coloration of the moon brighter. AAC

DOH studying possibility of mixing vaccine brands – FDA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is currently looking into the possibility of mixing different brands of vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Thursday.

FDA director general Eric Domingo said the DOH is already drafting a set of guidelines that will allow a person to receive different brands of COVID-19 vaccines for first and second dose in case of severe allergic reaction and other adverse effects.

Aaralin po ngayon yan ng Department of Health, in fact, meron naman po talagang ongoing meetings ang Department of Health on that dahil meron po talagang instances na for example naturukan ka ng bakuna ng first dose tapos nagka-severe allergy ka so hindi ka na puwede sa second dose nun at kailangang isipin ngayon yung magiging alternative,” Domingo said during the Laging Handa briefing.

“Gumagawa na ng guidelines ngayon ang DOH kung paano ‘yung interchangeability or mixing ng vaccines in case the second dose cannot be given na identical doon sa first dose,” he added.

Domingo said this after President Rodrigo Duterte said he has requested China to recall the 1,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines it donated following criticisms over his decision to receive a jab that has yet to secure an emergency use authorization from the FDA.

Duterte received his first dose of Sinopharm vaccine on Monday night.

Malacañang earlier said that the vaccine dose used on the president was covered by the compassionate special permit issued by the FDA for the Presidential Security Group.

DND’s Lorenzana backs Duterte remark on arbitral ruling on WPS vs China

Robie de Guzman   •   May 6, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday expressed agreement with President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent remark on the 2016 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) favoring the Philippines in its case against China’s activities in the West Philippine Sea.

“What President Duterte said last night regarding the PCA ruling is correct,” Lorenzana said in a statement, referring to Duterte’s statement that nothing happened when he tried to assert the arbitral ruling on the Philippines’ rights in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.

In a pre-taped public address on Wednesday night, Duterte said he tried to pursue the arbitral ruling when he came to power in 2016 but “nothing happened,” adding that the ruling was “just a piece of paper” that can be tossed into a waste basket.

Lorenzana said he agrees with the President when he said that there is no international law enforcement body that can enforce the ruling.

He, however, stressed that even without the PCA ruling, the Philippine government will still continue to defend “what is rightfully ours.”

“As I said in my previous statement, the President’s orders have been firm and straightforward: we defend what is rightfully ours without going to war and maintain the peace in the seas,” he said.

Lorenzana also said that Philippine Coast Guard and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will continue conducting maritime exercises in the West Philippine Sea and the Kalayaan Island Group.

The National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea earlier said that it has intensified maritime patrols in the West Philippine Sea after Chinese vessels were spotted lingering in areas within the Philippine exclusive economic zone.

The Department of Foreign Affairs have repeatedly filed diplomatic protests over Chinese incursions in the West Philippine Sea.


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