Heads up sky gazers! Partial lunar eclipse visible in PH early Wednesday

Robie de Guzman   •   July 16, 2019   •   1315

Photo by Doug Walters on Unsplash

MANILA, Philippines – Astronomy enthusiasts in the country will get to see a partial lunar eclipse which will be visible on early Wednesday (July 17), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Based on Pagasa’s astronomical diary, the eclipse will begin at 2:42 a.m. and will end at 8:19 a.m., Philippine Standard Time (PhST).

The state weather bureau said the partial lunar eclipse will begin at 4:01 a.m. and will peak at 5:30 a.m. (PhST).

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, but the three celestial bodies do not form a straight line in space. When this happens, only a small part of the moon’s surface is covered by the Earth’s shadow.

During a partial lunar eclipse, part of the moon can get a reddish hue.

Pagasa said the astronomical event will also be seen in Australia, Asia except for the northeastern part, Africa, Europe except N. Scandinavia and most of South America.

The state weather bureau said sky observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes as lunar eclipses are safe to watch.

The agency added that sky gazers may also use a binocular to help magnify the view and will make the moon’s red coloration brighter.

Signal No. 2 raised in Catanduanes as ‘Ramon’ slightly slows down

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The province of Catanduanes has been placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 2 as Tropical Storm ‘Ramon’ (international name: Kalmaegi) slightly slows down, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Wednesday.

Six areas remained under Signal No. 1 – Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon in Luzon, and Eastern Samar and Northern Samar in the Visayas.

In its 5:00 p.m. bulletin, PAGASA said ‘Ramon’ was last seen at 390 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It is still moving in the west-northwest direction at the speed of 10 kph.

Signal No. 1 may also be raised over Polilio Island on Wednesday evening, PAGASA said.

‘Ramon is expected to be located 160 kilometers northeast of Virac, Catanduanes by Thursday afternoon, Nov. 14, it added.

The state weather bureau said that between Wednesday and Thursday, light to moderate with occasional heavy rains may be experienced over eastern portion of Cagayan and Isabela, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.

Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains over Apayao, Aurora, Quezon and the rest of Cagayan, Isabela and Bicol Region.

“Between tomorrow afternoon and Friday afternoon, light to moderate with occasional heavy rains may be experienced over the eastern portion of Cagayan and Isabela. Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains over Bicol Region, Marinduque, Romblon, Quezon, Aurora, and Apayao,” PAGASA said in its bulletin.

It also advised residents in the said areas, especially those living in areas identified to be highly susceptible to flooding and rain-induced landslides, to take precautionary measures, coordinate with respective local disaster offices, and continue monitoring for weather updates from the state weather bureau.

PAGASA added that sea travel is also risky, especially for small sea crafts, over the seaboards of areas under TCWS, the seaboards of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon due to prevailing or forecast rough sea conditions.

‘Ramon’ now a tropical storm – PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical depression Ramon (International name Kalmaegi) is now a tropical storm, according to PAGASA.

Bases on PAGASA’s 10:00 AM update, the center of the storm was located at 385 km East Northeast of Borongan City, Eastern Samar or 450 km East of Catarman, Northern Samar, packed with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It is moving towards the west-northwest direction at 20 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 remains over Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate as well as in Northern Samar and Eastern Samar where light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will be experienced throughout the day.

PAGASA advise residents in the aforementioned areas to take precautionary measures for possible flashfloods and landslides as winds of 30-60 kph may be expected in at least 36 hours or intermittent rains may be expected within 36 hours.

Sea travel remains dangerous especially for small sea crafts over the seaboards of areas under TCWS, the seaboards of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon due to prevailing or forecast rough sea conditions.

Meanwhile, tomorrow (November 14), light to moderate with occasional heavy rains may be experienced over the eastern portion of Cagayan, Isabela, and Northern Aurora.

Likewise, light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains over Bicol Region, Apayao, Quezon, Northern Samar and the rest of Cagayan, Isabela and Aurora.

PH as world’s biggest rice importer concerns Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   November 12, 2019

Filipino port workers unload sacks of rice, which are imported from Vietnam to be distributed by the National Food Authority (NFA), inside a ship docked at Surigao port, Mindanao, southern Philippines. EPA-EFE/ALLANAH TORRALBA (FILE)

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang does not deny being concerned about recent reports that the Philippines is currently the world’s top rice importer.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, such report may be true but the government is making sure that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is on top of the situation.

“Ginagawa naman ni Secretary Dar ang kaniyang mga pamamaraan (Secretary Dar is finding ways) to solve whatever problems confronting the farmers,” Panelo said.

The report published by the United States’ Department of Agriculture-Foreign Agricultural Services (USDA-FAS) projected the Philippines rice importation to reach a record high by year-end – about 3 million metric tons – the highest in the world and the country’s highest ever recorded.

This projection is way higher than China, the biggest rice importer so far at 2.5 million metric tons by year-end.

Malacañang, meanwhile, blames the country’s lack of irrigation as the main reason for the increase in rice importation. – MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

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