PAGASA: Don’t take a bath during thunderstorms

Marje Pelayo   •   June 24, 2019   •   4526

MANILA, Philippines – It’s rainy season, and thunderstorms are inevitable.

Thus, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) advises the public to refrain from going outdoor to avoid the hazards of thunderstorms especially the unpredictable lightning strikes.

According to PAGASA Weather Specialist Vivien Esquivel, lightning adds nitrogen to the soil which transforms into plant-usable mineral responsible for the green in plants.

However, this positive effect on the ground works differently when lightning strikes on the human body.

Recently, two boys from Barangay Patag Ilaya in the town of Sta. Elena died from a lightning strike.

According to reports, cousins Jimboy Magsino Lora and Jericho Compra Lora asked permission to go outside to look for a signal for their mobile phones.

The teenagers sat near a tree to play mobile games but lightning struck the tree and burned them. Even their mobile phones were destroyed due to the lightning strike.

According to Esquivel, lightning strikes at random.

“Minsan, nakikita nating umiilaw lang sa ulap. Ang tinatawag natin doon ay ‘cloud-to-cloud’ lightning. Mayroon naman tayong tinatawag na cloud to ground lightning. Iyon ang tumatama sa atin. Tumatama sa ground or anumang bagay na at random,” she explained.

(We see flash of lights up in the clouds. That’s what we call ‘cloud-to-cloud’ lightning. Also, there is what we call ‘cloud-to-ground’ lightning that which strikes humans, or the ground or just anything at random.)

“Kahit na nasa baba ka, kung talagang tatamaan ka ng kidlat ay matatamaan ka talaga kasi lightning strikes anywhere,” she added.

(Even if you’re on the ground, if lightning strikes you, that’s inevitable because lightning strikes anywhere.)

For this reason, PAGASA advises the public to take note of important measures to avoid the dangers of lightning strikes.

When outdoor:

  • Stay away from an open field and find an enclosed shelter immediately.
  • Remove all metal accessories from the body such as jewelry or watch.
  • Refrain from using your cellphone and do not attempt to look for signals.
  • When driving a car, pull over and sit straight. Do not touch anything metal inside the car like keys or metal handle.
  • If in case there is no safe place outdoors, do the ‘lightning safety crouch’. Position your feet next to each other, with the heels touching. Try to rest on the balls of your feet so you minimize the surface of the ground you’re touching.
  • Close your eyes and cover your ears.

When indoor:

  • Do not use corded telephone line or cellphones even inside the house. Cellphones may be used for emergency situations but refrain from doing so if possible.
  • Unplug all appliance and turn off all gadgets. Do not leave them on standby mode.
  • Avoid taking a bath or using the shower.
  • Avoid using taps or washing the dishes.

“Stay away from anything that are good conductor of electricity kapag may lightning activity lalo na kung frequent ang lightning strikes within your area (when there is lightning activity especially if lightning strikes are frequent in your area),” noted PAGASA Weather Forecaster Chris Perez.

“Huwag kayong pakatiwala na hindi overhead ang thunderstorm ay hindi na kayo tatamaan kasi nagta-travel po ang lightning (Do not be complacent. Thunderstorms may not be overhead but it doesn’t mean it wouldn’t strike you. (Note that) lightning travels), ” warned Esquivel.

“So kahit 9 kilometers or 10 kilometers ang thunderstorm, huwag kayong magstay sa labas (So even if the distance of a thunderstorm is about 9km to 10 km away from you, do not stay outdoor). Make yourself the smallest target, ” she concluded. (with inputs from Harlene Delgado)

Signal #1 up in some parts of Luzon as TD Ferdie moves to exit — PAGASA

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical Depression (TD) ‘Ferdie’ continues to enhance the Southwest monsoon as it moves to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Monday morning (August 10).

According to the latest forecast from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA),  the combined effects of TD Ferdie and the enhanced Southwest Monsoon will bring strong breeze-force to near gale-force winds over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA, especially in areas under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #1. 

Gusty conditions are more likely in coastal and mountainous regions of these areas

Residents in affected areas are advised to take precautions against flooding and rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards. 

Meanwhile, PAGASA already lifted TCWS#1 for La Union, western portion of Pangasinan, northern portion of Zambales, and several municipalities of Ilocos Sur.

However, TCWS#1 remains for Western portion of Ilocos Norte and the western portion of Ilocos Sur.

PAGASA warned that sea travel is risky over the seaboards of areas under TCWS #1 due to rough to very rough seas with waves expected to reach 4 meters in height.

Also, gale Warning is in effect over the seaboards of Zambales, Bataan, western coast of Batangas, western coast of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, Calamian Islands, Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, and Isabela.

Thus, sea travel is risky over these areas due to rough to very rough seas.

Those with small seacrafts are advised to take precautionary measures while venturing out over the seaboards of Visayas and the rest of Luzon due to moderate to rough seas.

LPA East of Aurora province now Tropical Cyclone ‘Enteng’

Marje Pelayo   •   August 8, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Low Pressure Area (LPA) in the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) has developed into a tropical cyclone ‘Enteng’.

Based on the monitoring of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Enteng’s cyclone depression was estimated at 445km East of Casiguran, Aurora  as of 4:00 AM Saturday (August 8).

TC Enteng is moving towards the north direction at 10 km/h packed with maximum sustained winds of 45km/h and gustiness of up to 55km/h.

The state weather agency noted, however, that it does not expect the weather system to make a landfall in any part of the country.

No tropical cyclone wind signal is raised but ‘Enteng’ will bring scattered light to heavy rains over areas in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.

The cyclone will also enhance the Southwest Monsoon and will bring rains over Zambales, Bataan, Mindoro Provinces, Romblon, and occasional rains over Pangasinan and the rest of Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Marinduque, Rizal,  and the rest of Visayas.

Flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.

Monsoon rains to affect areas in Luzon as STS Dindo exits

Marje Pelayo   •   August 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Severe tropical storm (STS) Dindo is expected to exit the Philippine area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday morning but the southwest monsoon may bring occasional heavy rains over certain areas in Luzon, according to the latest forecast from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

As of 5:00 a.m., the state weather agency located STS Dindo at 475 km North Northeast of Basco, Batanes and is now over the Yaeyama Islands in the Southern Ryukyu island in Japan. 

It is moving northwestward towards the East China Sea while exiting PAR this morning. 

It is likely to make landfall over Zhejiang Province in eastern China tomorrow early morning as a Severe Tropical Storm.

PAGASA said no tropical cyclone wind signal is currently in effect as STS Dindo has no direct impact on the country at the moment. 

However, occasional rains due to the Southwest Monsoon will be experienced over Batanes and Babuyan Islands. 

Meanwhile, the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, the whole of Central Luzon and the rest of Cagayan Valley will be cloudy with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorm also due to the southwest monsoon.

According to PAGASA Weather Forecaster Chris Perez, Metro Manila and the rest of the country will experience generally improving weather condition apart from the isolated afternoon or evening rainshowers or thunderstorms.

The weather bureau is not expecting any tropical cyclone after STS Dindo in the next 24 hours or in the next two to three days, Perez said.

Meanwhile, a gale warning is in effect over the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon and the western seaboards of Central Luzon. 

Sea travel is risky over these areas due to rough to very rough seas with waves that may reach from 2.5 to 4.5 meters.

Those with small seacrafts are advised to take precautionary measures while venturing out over the other seaboards of Luzon due to moderate to rough seas with waves that could reach from 1.2 to 2.6 meters.

Thus, PAGASA advised the public and concerned local disaster risk reduction and management offices to monitor the agency’s weather advisory to take appropriate measures.

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