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PAGASA warns Cagayan residents of new flooding

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration on Sunday warned residents near the lower part of Cagayan River to brace for possible floods, saying the Cagayan River had reached above alarm level.

TO THE RESCUE. Eight senior citizens, three children, two PWDs and 18 other residents have been evacuated by the Coast Guard from  Barangay Annafunan East, Tuguegarao City on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 as a result of  flooding caused by continuous rain since Saturday. CoastGuard
In a 7 a.m. hydrological forecast for the Cagayan River basin, the weather bureau said the lower Cagayan River and its tributaries Pinacanauan de Tuguegarao, Chico, Pared and Dummun were threatening flooding.

It warned of a continuing rise in the water level of the lower Cagayan River since scattered rain showers and thunderstorms were expected.

Its 7 a.m. flood bulletin for the Cagayan River basin said flooding was threatening the low-lying areas near the lower part of Cagayan River: Penablanca, Tuguegarao City, Enrile, Solana, Iguig, Amulung, Alcala, Baggao, Lasam, Gattaran, Lallo, Camalaniugan and Aparri.

On the other hand, above alert level was raised over the upper Cagayan and Middle Cagayan River and their tributaries.

Flooding is still possible in those areas.

Meanwhile, Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Sunday backed the declaration of a climate emergency to encourage swift action to fight climate change and its impact.

He said the declaration would compel the government, including Congress and other stakeholders to place climate change at the center of their policy and planning decisions.

“Declaring a climate emergency means recognizing that climate crisis is the fight of our lives and that there is an urgent need for a massive-scale mobilization to protect Filipinos and the environment from climate change and its devastating impacts,” he said in a statement.

He says the Philippines has been facing a climate emergency for decades now with millions of Filipinos left to suffer the catastrophic effects of extreme weather events made stronger and deadlier by climate change.

He says it is for this reason why the Philippines is considered one of the most disaster-prone and climate-vulnerable countries in the world.

The devastation caused by the recent tropical cyclones including “Rolly” and “Ulysses,” which claimed 73 lives and caused the worst flooding in Metro Manila and Cagayan Valley in years, has made it imperative for the country to pursue stronger climate-adaptive and climate-resilient measures.

“There will be more typhoons that will come our way, and we have to become better at preparations and in handling situations that call for sound judgment to prevent devastating death tolls and economic costs of future calamities,” Velasco said.

The House of Representatives recently unanimously adopted a resolution endorsed by the committee on climate change declaring a climate and environmental emergency.

House Resolution 1377 also seeks to mobilize government agencies and instrumentalities, together with local government units, to effectively implement environmental, climate change adaptation and mitigation measures.

The committee on disaster resilience has adopted HR 535, expressing the sense of the legislative body that there is a disaster climate emergency requiring a “whole-of-government, whole-of-society and whole-of-nation policy response to anticipate, halt, reduce, reverse, address and adopt to its impacts, consequences and causes.”

Velasco said the declaration of a climate emergency would amplify the country’s demand for climate justice from developed nations and help achieve its goals under the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

The Paris Agreement calls all signatory countries to submit stronger climate targets, known as Nationally Determined Contributions every five years. 

The NDCs state what each country will do at a national level to reduce emissions, enhance their resilience to climate change threats, and help finance climate action.

At the recently concluded virtual conference of lawmakers from 48-member-nation Climate Vulnerable Forum, Velasco said the country’s NDC would show “the world our resolve to pursue low carbon development, as well as the support we need from developed countries in terms of climate finance, capacity building and technology transfer in the context of climate justice and in accordance with the Paris Agreement.”

Topics: Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration , Cagayan , Lord Allan Velasco , Cagayan River , House of Representatives
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