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Monday, June 24, 2024

La Niña’s rain dance: More storms arriving

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The La Niña phenomenon is expected to arrive in July, and could continue until August or September amid the lingering effect of the weak El Niño episode, the state weather bureau PAGASA said.

“While we experienced much higher temperatures in the past two weeks of April and first week of May, at least there will be a lowering of temperatures in the coming days,” Analiza Solis, PAGASA Climate Monitoring and Prediction Section chief told Manila Standard.

There is a 69 percent probability of La Niña occurrence in the third quarter of this year, with the onset of the rainy season between the last week of May and June.

Solis said the government is now crafting a national action plan to ensure proper interventions are in place as the country transitions from El Niño to La Niña.

She said 16 storms may likely enter the Philippine area of responsibility by the latter half of the year, higher than last year’s 11 tropical cyclones due to the El Niño phenomenon.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources, for its part, called for proactive adaptation of flood prevention measures.

Environment Usec. Carlos Primo David highlighted an immediate challenge – a 40 percent decrease in rain projected for May and June, followed by an average July and above-average rainfall expected in August and September.

“July will be the transition month and August and September will be when we will experience higher than average rain,” he said.

“While the DENR Water Resources Management Office coordinates all water projects, the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) remains the lead for flood mitigation. The national government has provided sufficient funds and 66 flood prone rivers have masterplans,” he added.

The national government set to release approximately P349 billion for flood control projects in 2024 to not only manage flood risks but also conserve and utilize water beneficially.

On the other hand, the Department of Agriculture acknowledged the potential for greater damage due to the La Niña phenomenon compared to the P6.3 billion agricultural damage due to El Nino.

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