Parts of Zamboanga City, Jolo town flooded due to heavy rains

Robie de Guzman   •   January 18, 2021   •   285

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rains due to a low pressure area (LPA) spotted in the vicinity of Western Mindanao have resulted in flooding in parts of Zamboanga City and Jolo town proper in Sulu.

Floodwater due to rains that poured overnight since Sunday until before dawn on Monday affected many residents in Barangays Talisayan, Patalon, and Ayala.

Local authorities said the floodwaters reached knee-deep in some areas in the city and affected around 200 families. High-value crops and rice fields in the said areas were also affected.

The City’s Emergency Response Teams have been deployed to monitor the situation, and to evacuate, when necessary, residents in coastal barangays amid the weather disturbance.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported it has assisted in the evacuation of residents in Jolo, Sulu affected by the flooding in Barangays Asturias, Tulay, Hadju Butu, Chinese Pier, Serrantes, Takut-Takut, and Alat.

Photos posted by the PCG on its Facebook page show knee-deep floods and residents wading on water holding onto ropes held by rescuers.

No casualties were reported.

The state weather agency on Monday said the LPA was estimated at 90 kilometers southeast of Zamboanga City, embedded along the intertropical convergence zone.

The weather bureau warned that the combined effects of the weather disturbance will bring moderate to heavy rains in some parts of Mindanao and may cause flashfloods and landslides in areas prone to these hazards. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

PAGASA lifts tropical cyclone wind signal as ‘Auring’ weakens into LPA

Marje Pelayo   •   February 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – State weather agency PAGASA has downgraded the weather system formerly known as Tropical Depression ‘Auring’ into a low pressure area (LPA) after it weakened at 11:00 AM Monday (February 22) prior to crossing the Rapu-Rapu Islands, Albay.

The weather bureau forecast the LPA to move northwestward to westward and may traverse Bicol Region, southern Quezon, Marinduque, and northern Mindoro in the next 24 hours. 

There is an increasing likelihood of the disturbance dissipating while traversing Southern Luzon.

Still, moderate to heavy with at times intense rains prevail over Bicol Region, Quezon, Marinduque, and Romblon throughout the day.

Meanwhile, light to moderate with at times heavy rains is still being experienced over Aurora, Rizal, Laguna, Northern Samar, and the rest of MIMAROPA.

Though Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal #1 is now lifted, the northeast monsoon will continue to bring strong breeze conditions over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Aurora, and Quezon.

As of 3:00 PM today, the LPA (formerly Tropical Depression “Auring”) was estimated West Southwest of Legazpi City, Albay. northeast monsoon affecting Northern Luzon.

With this development and unless re-intensification occurs, PAGASA said this will be the final weather bulletin for this weather disturbance. 

TS Auring slightly weakens as it moves northwestward

Maris Federez   •   February 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical Storm Auring is now bringing light to moderate with at times heavy rains on Saturday over Caraga and Eastern Visayas. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 5:00 PM weather update that heavy rains will be felt until Saturday evening.

Moderate to heavy rains, on the other hand, will be felt over Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Eastern Visayas. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Northern Mindanao, Bicol Region, Mimaropa, Quezon, and the rest of Visayas and Caraga on Sunday (February 21).

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be expected over Bicol Region, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, and the southern portion of Quezon due to the combined effects of the weather disturbance and the Shear Line until Monday.

PAGASA said that under these conditions, scattered to widespread flooding (including flash floods) and rain-induced landslides are likely during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards as identified in hazard maps.

Adjacent or nearby areas may also experience flooding in the absence of such rainfall occurrence due to surface runoff or swelling of river channels. PAGASA Regional Services Divisions may issue local thunderstorm/rainfall advisories and heavy rainfall warnings while the Hydrometeorology Division and River Basin Flood Forecasting and Warning Centers may issue General Flood Advisories and Basin Flood Bulletins as appropriate, the state weather bureau said.

PAGASA added that in the next 24 hours, “the combined effects of the surge of the Northeast Monsoon and Tropical Storm Auring will bring strong to gale-force winds over the areas where Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #1 is in effect, as well as over the rest of Visayas, Bicol Region, Calabarzon, and Mindoro Provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, and the northern portion of Palawan (including Calamian, Cuyo, and Kalayaan Islands). A strong breeze to near-gale conditions is also likely over the rest of Luzon.

The weather station also said that “rough to high seas (2.8 to 6.0 m) will be experienced over the seaboards of areas under TCWS in the next 24 hours.”

Rough to very rough seas (2.8 to 5.0 m) will prevail over the eastern and southern seaboards of Southern Luzon and the remaining seaboards of Visayas. Rough seas (2.5 to 4.0 m) will prevail over the northern and western seaboards of Mindanao and the remaining seaboards of Luzon. Sea travel is risky for all types of sea vessels over these waters, the advisory said.

Pagasa also warned that moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 3.0 m) will be experienced over the remaining seaboards of the country. Mariners of small sea crafts are advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea. Inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions.

TS Auring is forecast to continue moving generally northwestward throughout the forecast period. Its center is forecast to make landfall over the Dinagat-Homonhon-Leyte area on Sunday evening or Monday early morning then cross Visayas and Mimaropa, PAGASA added.

TS Auring is more likely to weaken to tropical depression before it makes landfall over Caraga. It will likely further weaken to Low Pressure Area by Monday due to significant terrain interaction and persistent vertical wind shear during this passage over the archipelago, the weather bureau said.

Zamboanga City mayor appeals not to use city as point of referral for deportees from Malaysia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 9, 2021

Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco has appealed to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) not to use the city as a point of referral for Filipino deportees from Malaysia.

Climaco made this appeal to IATF chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. after the COVID-19 UK variant was recorded in Malaysia recently.

“Zamboanga City should no longer be a point of referral for the returning Filipinos […] we have centers already in Tawi-tawi and Sulu,” she said.

She also reiterated that only a few deportees from Malaysia are residents of Zamboanga City.

With the COVID-19 UK variant detected in Malaysia, the Zamboanga City mayor laments that cases in the city might increase especially when several residents violate health and safety protocols.

Over 12,000 individuals in Zamboanga City were apprehended for violating health and safety protocols since January.

At present, repatriation of all deportees and locally stranded individuals (LSIs) from Malaysia are suspended in the city. -AAC (with reports from Val Villaflor)


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