It’s official: Rainy season is here

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star
It�s official: Rainy season is here
Pedestrians cross Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City under light rain. The state weather bureau has officially declared the start of the rainy season.
Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared the start of the rainy season as Typhoon Aghon exited the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) at noon yesterday.

PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando said the passage of Aghon and the prevalence of the southwest monsoon signify the onset of the wet season.

“The occurrence of scattered rainshowers, frequent thunderstorms, the passage of Typhoon Aghon and the southwest monsoon over the past few days have brought significant rains over the western sections of Luzon and the Visayas signify the start of the rainy season in the country,” he said in an advisory.

He warned of the high chance of La Niña developing in the next few months, which could bring adverse effects with above-average rainfall.

“Moreover, the high chance of La Niña conditions to develop by the July-August-September period increases the likelihood of above-normal rainfall conditions in some areas of the country, especially towards the end of the year,” Servando added.

Still, PAGASA said there are expected monsoon breaks in rainfall that could extend over a few days or even weeks at a time.

State weather forecasters said they are continuously monitoring weather and climate situations in the country and advised the public to take measures against the adverse impacts of the wet season.

Aghon exits

The state weather bureau said Aghon left the northern boundary of the PAR at around noon yesterday but will partially influence the southwesterly wind flow, bringing rains over parts of the country.

Aghon was monitored 1,205km northeast of extreme Northern Luzon yesterday at 3 p.m. It was carrying winds of 120 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

Meanwhile, the southwesterly windflow partially influenced by the typhoon will still bring moderate to heavy rains over the western portions of Northern Luzon, Central Luzon and MIMAROPA until today.

It will also bring occasional gusty conditions in the next three days over Batanes, Ilocos Region, Zambales, Bataan, Lubang Islands and Kalayaan Islands.

The southwesterly windflow is currently bringing scattered rains over Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi.

Scattered rains due to the frontal system are also expected over Batanes and Babuyan islands. The rest of the country may see isolated rains due to localized thunderstorms

Agriculture damage hits P57 million

The damage of Typhoon Aghon to the agriculture sector has ballooned to P57.5 million affecting 729 hectares of rice, corn and high value crops, according to the Department of Agriculture (DA).

In its latest bulletin, the DA said the total volume of production loss was at 1,995 metric tons (MT) affecting 1,145 farmers. Bulk of the damage came from high value crops with P29.34 million covering 206 hectares of plantations; followed by rice with P24.86 million damage covering 489 hectares of farms.

Meanwhile, at least P1.52 million corn were damaged affecting 34 hectares; agricultural infrastructure, P965,000; livestock and poultry, P448,300.

On the other hand, agriculture assistant secretary and spokesman Arnel de Mesa said the figure will still increase with reports from the field offices on the extent of damage in Eastern Visayas and Bicol.

The DA is ready to distribute at least P23.06 million worth of seeds, planting materials to the affected farmers.

Also available is the P1 billion Quick Response Fund and the P25,000 in the Survival and Recovery loan program under the Agricultural Credit Policy Council, de Mesa said.

DSWD aid

Around 3,000 families from two areas in Quezon province that have been badly hit by Typhoon Aghon have received family food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

“The brunt of the typhoon was in Quezon, but if we isolate it some more, it’s in Mauban and Pagbilao (towns). The affected families there were about 2,000 to 3,000 near Polilio island,” Secretary Rex Gatchalian said during the distribution of aid.

The DSWD chief acknowledges, however, that these numbers are expected to rise to as many as 10,000 because some areas in the province don’t have communications yet.

Social workers have not extended any financial assistance yet, according to Gatchalian, because their list of beneficiaries is not yet complete. – Delon Porcalla, Bella Cariaso

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