A month’s worth of rain hit CDO – Pagasa

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - At least one month’s worth of rain poured within 24 hours in Cagayan de Oro City, the state weather bureau said as five deaths were reported from the massive flooding spawned by last Monday’s torrential rains in Northern Mindanao.

The severe flooding caught many residents of Cagayan de Oro City by surprise on Monday afternoon, but the state weather bureau maintained it issued sufficient warnings against flashfloods.

Rene Paciente, senior weather forecaster at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said thunderstorm advisories were issued by the agency for Northern Mindanao as early as 11 a.m. Monday.

He said the agency raised a yellow rainfall warning, meaning heavy rains were expected, at 4 p.m.

A few hours later, the alert level color was changed to red, the highest warning.

PAGASA said the tail-end of a cold front and a low-pressure area triggered the heavy downpour.

Paciente said the downpour started early afternoon and continued late into the night, triggering severe floods in various parts of Cagayan de Oro.

Paciente admitted there is no Doppler radar currently installed in Cagayan de Oro that could have given a more accurate picture of the weather disturbance and allow PAGASA to issue earlier warnings.

He said weather forecasts, including rainfall, are made at the PAGASA station in El Salvador City, approximately 20 kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro.

Paciente said the province of Misamis Oriental gets its rainfall data from Doppler radars located in Cebu and Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

The amount of rainfall recorded in 24 hours at the PAGASA station in El Salvador almost reached its average monthly rainfall.

“It’s possible that Cagayan de Oro received more rains than El Salvador,” he said.

Paciente said the warnings of heavy rainfall were sent to local officials through text messages.

Paciente said another Doppler radar would be installed in Bohol this year, which could give a better weather forecast for Cagayan de Oro.


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