PAGASA: Don’t take a bath during thunderstorms

Marje Pelayo   •   June 24, 2019   •   5994

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 nos. 1 and 2 still up in parts of Luzon as Maring nears exit

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—  Tropical cyclone wind signals are still raised over parts of Luzon as severe tropical storm “Maring” is about to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

According to PAGASA, Maring was located 315 km West of Calayan, Cagayan and will continue to move westward over the West Philippine Sea. It has maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 125 km/h.

Heavy to intense rains are highly likely over Ilocos Region, Benguet, Ifugao, Abra, and Mountain Province.

Moderate to heavy rains are highly likely over Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, and the rest of Cordillera Administrative Region.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains are likely over Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, and the rest Central Luzon.

TCWS No. 2  prevails in the following areas:

  • Batanes
  • Cagayan including Babuyan Islands
  • The northern portion of Isabela (Palanan, Divilacan, Maconacon, Ilagan City, Tumauini, Cabagan, San Pablo, Santa Maria, Santo Tomas, Delfin Albano, Quirino, Gamu, Roxas, Mallig, Quezon)
  • Apayao
  • Kalinga
  • Mountain Provinc
  • Abra
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur

Meanwhile, Signal No. 1 has been raised in the following areas:

  • The rest of Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Ifugao
  • Benguet
  • La Union
  • Pangasinan
  • Aurora
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • The northern portion of Bataan (Samal, Morong, Dinalupihan, Abucay, Orani, Hermosa)
  • The northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar, Infanta) including Polillo Islands

Within the next 36 hours,  Maring is forecast to gradually intensify but is becoming less likely to reach typhoon category prior to making landfall over Hainan Island in China.

The state weather bureau continues to remind the public and disaster risk reduction and management offices concerned to take all necessary measures to protect life and property. AAC

 

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Maring to exit PAR as it continues to move over West Philippine Sea

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Severe Tropical Storm (STS) Maring will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday (October 12), according to PAGASA.

Based on the latest bulletin at 8:00 a.m., the center of STS Maring, with international name Kompasu, was estimated over 230 km West of Calayan, Cagayan. Its maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h near the center, gustiness of up to 125 km/h.

Outside the PAR, Maring will maintain a westward heading and is likely to make landfall in the vicinity of Hainan, China on Wednesday evening (October 13).

Heavy to intense rains are highly likely over Ilocos Region, Benguet, Ifugao, Abra, and Mountain Province. Moderate to heavy rains are highly likely over Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, and the rest of Cordillera Administrative Region. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains are likely over Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, and the rest Central Luzon.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2 is in effect in the following areas:

  • Batanes
  • Cagayan including Babuyan Islands
  • The northern portion of Isabela (Palanan, Divilacan, Maconacon, Ilagan City, Tumauini, Cabagan, San Pablo, Santa Maria, Santo Tomas, Delfin Albano, Quirino, Gamu, Roxas, Mallig, Quezon)
  • Apayao
  • Kalinga
  • Mountain Province
  • Abra
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 is in effect in the following areas:

  • The rest of Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino
  • Ifugao
  • Benguet
  • La Union
  • Pangasinan
  • Aurora
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • The northern portion of Bataan (Samal, Morong, Dinalupihan, Abucay, Orani, Hermosa)
  • The northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar, Infanta) including Polillo Islands

Within the next 36 hours, the storm is forecast to gradually intensify but is becoming less likely to reach typhoon category prior to making landfall over Hainan Island, PAGASA said. AAC

NAIA ops resume after lowering of lightning red alert to yellow

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Operations at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have resumed after PAGASA lowered the lightning red alert status to yellow.

According to the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), flight and ground activities at the NAIA reopened after the state weather bureau determined that thunderstorms no longer pose a threat to its operations.

PAGASA has categorized Maring into a severe tropical storm. According to its 2 p.m. bulletin, the weather disturbance continues to accelerate closer to the Babuyan Islands.

Based on current forecast STS Maring will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Tuesday morning (October 12). Outside the PAR, Maring will continue moving westward over the West Philippine Sea until it makes landfall in the vicinity of Hainan Island in China on Wednesday morning or afternoon (October 13). AAC

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