Rainy weekend due to tropical depression Maring

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical depression Maring is expected to bring rains over parts of Luzon and the Visayas this weekend.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said light to moderate to heavy rains might prevail in Occidental Mindoro, Palawan and the rest of the Visayas.

The trough of the tropical depression brought light to heavy rains in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Caraga, Cebu and Bohol yesterday.

The center of the weather disturbance was located 715 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar as of 4 p.m. yesterday. It packed winds of 55 kms  per hour near the center and gustiness of 70 kph.

PAGASA said it is likely that Maring would merge with a tropical cyclone outside the Philippine area of responsibility after it weakens into a low-pressure area.

“In the next 24 hours, moderate to rough seas will prevail over the seaboards of Luzon and the eastern and western seaboards of the Visayas and Mindanao,” the weather bureau said.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) directed its units to prepare for the possible effects of Maring in Eastern Visayas.

“I have placed our personnel in the Police Regional Office 8 and nearby areas on standby as their assistance may be required by our local government units in the region, particularly in the evacuation of residents in flood or landslide-prone areas,” PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.

He directed police commanders to monitor PAGASA’s advisory on the weather disturbance.

Lannie agri damage rises to P31.7 million

Meanwhile, damage to agriculture caused by tropical depression Lannie has reached P31.7 million, data from the Department of Agriculture (DA)’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center showed.

In its bulletin as of 1 p.m. yesterday, the agency said 1,953 farmers and 2,084 hectares of rice fields were affected by the weather disturbance in Western Visayas, with production loss at 1,377 metric tons.

The DA said the amount of damage is still subject to validation.

Based on the combined standing crops data in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas, the DA said 518,481 hectares of rice fields could have been affected by the tropical depression.

The DA said the volume of production loss accounts for 25.13 percent of the country’s standing crops.

The agency said 34,443 hectares of corn fields could have also been damaged. – Emmanuel Tupas, Catherine Talavera

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