Several parts of PH to witness annular solar eclipse on Dec. 26

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019   •   599

The annular solar eclipse as seen from Hongdao of Qingdao, eastern China’s Shandong province, 15 January 2010. EPA-EFE/WU HONG

Several parts of the Philippines will be able to witness the annular solar eclipse on December 26, according to PAGASA.

“An annular eclipse happens when the moon is farthest from Earth. Because the moon is farther away from Earth, it seems smaller and does not block the entire view of the sun thus creating a ‘ring of fire’ effect,” according to PAGASA.

The annular eclipse will be observed in the southernmost part of Davao Occidental.

According to PAGASA, the best site of observation is in Balut and Batulaki, Sarangani Island, Davao Occidental while other parts of the country will observe it as partial solar eclipse.

The earliest start of the eclipse will begin at 12:32 p.m. in Manila while it will begin at 12:43 p.m. in Balut Island. —AAC

Rare annular solar eclipse wows spectators across Asia

Marje Pelayo   •   December 26, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Professional and amateur photographers, astronomy enthusiasts from different countries turned their lenses up to watch the rare annular solar eclipse this year.

In the Philippines, spectators flocked the University of the Philippines Astronomical Observatory in Diliman to have a glimpse of the eclipse.

Despite the cloudy skies, viewers enjoyed the once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It was interesting,” said Sabrina Gacad, an astronomy enthusiast.

Christina Soriano tagged her children to the viewing deck to personally experience the eclipse.

“Para makita din nila na nangyayari talaga ang solar eclipse (For them to witness the phenomenon that solar eclipse really does happen),” she explained.

The last time the Philippines was able to view an annular solar eclipse was in 1944.

It is a phenomenon when the moon covers the sun’s center leaving the outer edges of the sun visible, thus it is called annulus or the ‘ring of fire.’

In Asia, it was viewed this year in Malaysia, Singapore, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

In the Middle East, it was best viewed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates, even in the Northern Marianas Islands and Guam.

The next annular solar eclipse will happen 44 years after in 2063. MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

Here are some of the images that the netizens captured of the annular solar eclipse:

‘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)

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