'Bebeng' out of Pagasa name list
- Ghio Ong, Helen Flores () - May 16, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - “Bebeng” will be removed soon from the list of tropical cyclone names due to the storm’s huge damage to the country, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said yesterday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that as of yesterday, Bebeng’s damage to property was estimated at P1,370,404,821.61 – P237.868 million in agriculture and P1.132 billion in infrastructure.

“With that amount of destruction (more than P1 billion) we will remove Bebeng from the list (of tropical cyclone names),” Undersecretary Graciano Yumul told The STAR.

“Our rule is if the amount of destruction exceeds P1 billion, we decommission the name,” he said.

Bebeng lashed parts of the Bicol region, Northern Luzon and the Visayas before exiting the country last week.

The storm left a total of 44 people dead in five regions. A majority of the fatalities, 26 of them, came from Bicol, four from Eastern Visayas, and one each in Central Luzon, Central Visayas and Metro Manila.

Nine people were injured while two others remain missing, the NDRRMC said. The storm affected a total of 83,193 families or 430,081 persons in six regions. A total of 9,421 houses were damaged in Central Luzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas.

Asked why they change the names of destructive storms, Yumul said: “We do not want people to recall the horrors brought about by those cyclones.”

Yumul said the other tropical cyclone names that were recently removed from the list were “Milenyo,” “Reming,” “Ondoy,” and “Pepeng.”

Milenyo and Reming – two of the strongest typhoons that battered the Philippines in 2006 - were replaced by names “Mario” and “Ruby,” respectively.

Ondoy dumped unusual amount of rains in Metro Manila and nearby provinces on Sept. 26, 2009, leaving some P11.1 billion worth of damage to properties. It also killed 464 persons and affected some 4.9 million families.

On the other hand, Pepeng left 465 people dead and damage to infrastructure and agriculture amounting to P27.2 billion, also in 2009.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), an attached agency of the DOST, had already registered the names of storms that would hit the country until 2016.

No tropical cyclone

Meanwhile, no tropical cyclone is expected to affect the country this week, according to PAGASA weather branch chief Robert Sawi.

Sawi, however, said the intertropical convergence zone or ITCZ is expected to bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao in the next three days.

The rest of the country, on the other hand, will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening. – With Alexis Romero

BEBENG BICOL CENTRAL LUZON CENTRAL VISAYAS AND METRO MANILA DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY EASTERN VISAYAS GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION METRO MANILA MILENYO AND REMING
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