PH to witness rare annular solar eclipse on Dec. 26

Marje Pelayo   •   December 20, 2019   •   788

(FILE) Photo taken with a solar lens filter of the moon as it covers the sun during an annular solar eclipse is viewed in Bagan, Myanmar, 15 January 2010. EPA/NYEIN CHAN NAING

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos will have a rare chance to witness a once-in-a-lifetime extraterrestrial phenomenon on December 26.

During a solar eclipse, the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun obscuring the Sun from view.

During an annular solar eclipse, the Moon’s diameter is smaller than the Sun, blocking its light, making the Sun appear like an annulus or ring.

The path of the annular solar eclipse will be from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula, then over Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, then over India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, then over the Philippines to Northern Marianas Island and in Guam towards the end.

A complete view of the annular solar eclipse will be visible in Balut Island in Saranggani, Davao del Sur.

The Moon will begin its passing at 12:45 PM Philippine local time until 3:58 PM on December 26.

The maximum eclipse will be around 2:30 PM and will last only for about two minutes and 32.5 seconds.

A partial eclipse of up to 60% will also be visible in the Metro Manila specifically in Quezon City.

In viewing the eclipse, state weather agency PAGASA warned the public to use appropriate eyewear because the direct view of the sunlight, especially during an eclipse, is harmful to the eye.

PAGASA said a welding mask would do.

Apart from a strategic location in Balut Island, PAGASA will set up a viewing area at the observatory in UP Diliman.

However, PAGASA warned that the eclipse might be distracted by the weather especially that a weather disturbance is likely to happen on December 26 in the country.

PAGASA clarified that there is no scientific study that will prove the effects of a solar eclipse to humans or to animals.

Sea conditions are also observed to be normal during an eclipse.

An annular solar eclipse is so rare that the next time the Earth would witness it is on February 28, 2063. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

‘Ursula’ further weakens, likely to exit PAR on Saturday

Marje Pelayo   •   December 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA forecast slight weakening of Typhoon Ursula (International name Phanfone) as it further moves west-northwestward over the West Philippine Sea.

As of 10:00 AM Thursday (December 26), the weather system was located at 235 km Northwest of Coron, Palawan with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.

Still, tropical cyclone wind signals (TCWS) #1 remains hoisted over the northwestern portion of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island and Calamian Islands where winds of up to 30 to 60 kph is expected to prevail in 36 hours.

Residents in these areas are advised to take appropriate measures for possible landslides and flashfloods while sea travel remains at high risk over the seaboards of areas under Signal #1 due to rough sea conditions.

Meanwhile, PAGASA already lifted for Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, the rest of Occidental Mindoro, and the rest of extreme northern Palawan.

Through the day, light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will prevail over northern portion of Palawan including Calamian Islands and Lubang Island.

Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Rizal, and Northern Quezon, likewise, will experience cloudy skies with scattered rains.

According to PAGASA, Ursula is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday (28 December) morning.

Cop, first reported casualty in Leyte as Typhoon ‘Ursula’ lashes parts of Visayas

Marje Pelayo   •   December 25, 2019

LEYTE, Philippines – The Leyte Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) reported one fatality as Typhoon Ursula continues to batter the municipality of Abuyog.

According to Leyte PDRRMC head, Arvin Monge, investigation is ongoing to verify if the person’s cause of death is related to the onslaught of the typhoon.

“Isang police iyon na electrocuted. Nakuryente siya. Iyon ang casualty ngayon na isa (He is a police who was eletrocuted. He’s our first casualty),” Monge confirmed.

Disaster authorities have started clearing operations on major roads in the province to make them passable for emergency and relief workers.

Aside from uprooted trees, authorities also noted a number of damaged utility posts and cables.

Response teams are doubling their efforts to speed up the clearing works in order for the power lines to be restored as soon as possible, according to Monge.

“Kailangan natin ng fuel so iyon ang ating binabantayan. Tapos accessibility ng ating mga sasakyan. So iyon ang ating kailangan (We need fuel so that’s what we are addressing right now. Then accessibility for the vehicles, that’s what we need),” he said.

“Kailangan ma-clear talaga ang ating mga road as per governor’s instruction (The roads need to be cleared as per the governor’s instructions),” he added.

As expected, passengers remain stranded in ports and terminals in the province due to lack of transportation service.

Likewise, communication line is also cut in most parts of the province. – MNP (with details from Jennelyn Valles)

‘Ursula’ barrels down on Masbate, parts of Visayas with destructive winds, intense rains

Marje Pelayo   •   December 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Destructive winds and intense rainfall are currently affecting southwestern Masbate due to the onslaught of Typhoon Ursula (International name Phanfone), state weather agency PAGASA said.

According to PAGASA’s 8:00 AM bulletin, Typhoon Ursula managed to maintain its strength while moving westward off the coast of Capiz.

Aside from Masbate, the eyewall of the weather system is currently lashing the areas of Aklan, Capiz, northern Antique, northeastern Iloilo, and Romblon with strong winds and heavy rainfall, according to PAGASA.

Meanwhile, the southern portion of Mindoro provinces will be affected by the eye wall in the coming hours.

PAGASA warned residents in these areas to prepare as the passage of the eye may bring calm conditions but expect it to bring violent conditions associated with the eyewall as soon as it moves out of the area.

Until Wednesday (December 25) evening, occasional to frequent heavy with intermittent intense rains over Masbate, northern Negros Provinces, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, Romblon, Calamian Islands, Cuyo Islands, and Mindoro Provinces.

Light to moderate rains with isolated heavy rainshowers during thunderstorms over Bicol Region, rest of Visayas, CALABARZON, Metro Manila, Marinduque, Aurora and the northern portion of mainland Palawan.

Residents in these areas are advised to take appropriate measures to reduce the potential impact of flooding and rain-induced landslides, especially in areas identified to be highly to very highly susceptible to these hazards, PAGASA said.

As such, Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) remains in several areas across Luzon and Visayas due to Typhoon Ursula.

Signal #3 (Winds of greater than 121 kph up to 170 kph may be expected in at least 18 hours.)

Luzon

  • Western Masbate
  • Romblon
  • Southern Oriental Mindoro
  • Southern Occidental Mindoro
  • Calamian Islands

Visayas

  • Capiz
  • Aklan
  • northern Antique
  • Northern Iloilo

Signal #2 (Winds of greater than 61 kph and up to 120 kph may be expected in at least 24 hours.)

Luzon

  • Southern portion of Quezon
  • Marinduque
  • the rest of Oriental Mindoro
  • the rest of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • the rest of Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands
  • Cuyo Islands
  • and extreme northern portion of mainland Palawan

Visayas

  • Extreme northern Cebu including Bantayan Islands
  • the rest of Iloilo
  • the rest of Antique
  • Guimaras
  • and northern Negros Occidental

Signal #1 (Winds of 30-60 kph may be expected in at least 36 hours or intermittent rains may be expected within 36 hours.)

Luzon

  • Bataan
  • Metro Manila
  • Rizal
  • Cavite
  • the rest of Quezon
  • Laguna
  • Batangas
  • Camarines Sur
  • Camarines Norte
  • Catanduanes
  • the rest northern mainland Palawan
  • Cagayancillo Islands

Visayas

  • Northern Samar. Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Biliran
  • Leyte
  • Bohol
  • the rest of Cebu
  • the rest of Negros Occidental
  • Negros Oriental

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