Monday, September 28, 2009

RP may be hit by two more weather disturbances

IN THIS PHOTO: Residents of Barangay San Isidro, Makati City used pedicabs as improvised form of transportation during the height of the tropical storm ‘Ondoy’ in Manila, Philippines. Most of the people arrived home from the office immediately after news of the flash floods in their area were announced on TV.

MANILA, Philippines – As residents of Luzon and Metro Manila struggle to cope with the worst flooding in more than 40 years brought about by the recent tropical storm ‘Ondoy’ (international name: Ketsana), the country, particularly Central Luzon and CALABARZON regions could be hit with two more potential storms, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Monday.

A tropical depression and a low-pressure area were recently sighted via satellite in the Pacific Ocean and moving toward the Philippines’ direction, PAGASA forecaster Nathaniel Cruz said.

“There is the very big possibility (the tropical depression) could further intensify into a typhoon,” he said in a television interview.

“We will closely monitor this,” added Cruz.

PAGASA’s forecaster Connie Dadivas said the two weather disturbances might enter Philippine territory late Wednesday or Thursday.

Another PAGASA forecaster Joel Jesusa, however said that the two low pressure areas (LPA) were still far away to affect any part of the country for now.

The depression was heading for the northern part of the main Philippine island of Luzon, where Saturday’s disaster struck, but it was also possible that both weather disturbances would not reach the country, Cruz added.

If ever the tropical depression will enter the Philippine area of responsibility, it will be locally named ‘Peping’, radio reports said.

Tropical storm Ketsana brought rains that weather specialists described as “anomalous.” While it did not develop into a typhoon, Ondoy brought rains of 341 millimeters (mm) in the first six hours that it struck Metropolitan Manila on Saturday, breaking the highest 24-hour rainfall of 334 mm in Metropolitan Manila in June 1967, according to the Philippines’ weather forecasting bureau.

The Philippines’ maximum annual rainfall is only 4,064 mm or 338.6 per month or 11.3 mm per day. Ondoy’s 341-mm of rain in six hours was equivalent to more than 30 days of rainfall.

Estimated damage in property caused by Ondoy, according to the NDCC was worth P108.9 million, including 34 schools. Families that were displaced were reported to be at 89,116 or 448,454 people in 384 barangays (villages). ‘

Some of the floodwaters in Manila had still not receded after more than two days.

Although Ketsana was already well clear of the Philippines, the government’s weather station forecast scattered rain showers and thunderstorms for Luzon on Monday.

UPDATE: Radio reports said that the incoming tropical depression in the Pacific Ocean could be a super typhoon as it moves farther close to the Philippine area of responsibility. PAGASA is currently monitoring the movements of the mentioned tropical depression.

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