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Water level below normal in major dams in Luzon

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Monday, April 29th, 2019

La Mesa Dam

MANILA, Philippines – The water level in Magat Dam in Isabela has increased by 10 meters from 162 meters on April 1 to 172.93 meters as of 6:00 am today (April 29).

“May pag-ulan doon sa may bandang Isabela, sa Mountain Province. Kapag doon umulan papasok sa water reservoir ng Magat,” PAGASA Weather Specialist II Edgar Dela Cruz said.

However, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said this is still five meters short of the dam’s rule curve elevation or normal water level of 177.45 meters.

Other dams like Ipo (101m), Ambuklao (740.44m), Binga (566.27m) and Caliraya Dams, on the other hand, have recorded a slight increase in their respective water level in the past days.

Caliraya dam collected an additional one meter at 287.13 meters from its water reserve of 286.14 meters on Sunday (April 29).

La Mesa dam has become stagnant at 68.45m while San Roque (from 250.63m to 250.08m)  and Pantabangan (195.10m to 195.05m) dams suffered slight depletion from April 28 to April 29.

Angat Dam, Metro Manila’s main source of domestic water requirement, has its water level reduced from 179.97m to 179.50m as of 6:00 a.m. today.

The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) said this level is already below Angat Dam’s minimum operating level of 180 meters.

Nevertheless, the agency noted that such water level remains above the dam’s critical level for domestic use. It is critical, however, to farmlands that depend irrigation from Angat Dam.

The dam is continuously releasing 38 cubic meters per second of water a day for Metro Manila; while the allocation for irrigation has been reduced to 10 cubic meters per second (cms) from 35 cms.

Experts warn that Angat dam might reach the critical level when its water reserve continues to drop to 160 meters.

The lowest level recorded was in July 2010 when Angat’s water dipped to 157.55 meters.

According to NWRB, the water level in Angat Dam will further recede to 173.52 meters in May.

If this happens, the agency will decide on whether or not to reduce the supply for Metro Manila in order to have enough supply in case of delay in the onset of the rainy season.

Iko-consider din natin ang succeeding months kasi for preparation. One of this is baka magkaroon ng adjustment sa allocation kung kinakailangan if wala pang masyadogn mga ulan na dumarating,” explained NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David Jr.

(We will consider the succeeding months for the preparation. One of these is a possible adjustment in allocation when necessary is in case the onset of the rainy season is delayed.)

The agency added that the weak El Niño is expected to persist until August but several areas will experience normal rainfall starting May. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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Heads up sky gazers! Partial lunar eclipse visible in PH early Wednesday

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

Photo by Doug Walters on Unsplash

MANILA, Philippines – Astronomy enthusiasts in the country will get to see a partial lunar eclipse which will be visible on early Wednesday (July 17), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Based on Pagasa’s astronomical diary, the eclipse will begin at 2:42 a.m. and will end at 8:19 a.m., Philippine Standard Time (PhST).

The state weather bureau said the partial lunar eclipse will begin at 4:01 a.m. and will peak at 5:30 a.m. (PhST).

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, but the three celestial bodies do not form a straight line in space. When this happens, only a small part of the moon’s surface is covered by the Earth’s shadow.

During a partial lunar eclipse, part of the moon can get a reddish hue.

Pagasa said the astronomical event will also be seen in Australia, Asia except for the northeastern part, Africa, Europe except N. Scandinavia and most of South America.

The state weather bureau said sky observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes as lunar eclipses are safe to watch.

The agency added that sky gazers may also use a binocular to help magnify the view and will make the moon’s red coloration brighter.

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Pagasa hoists signal no. 2 as “Falcon” intensifies into tropical storm

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Falcon has intensified into a tropical storm, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Tuesday.

In its weather bulletin issued at 5 p.m., Pagasa said the storm was last spotted at 335 kilometers east southeast of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

“Falcon” is moving west at the speed of 30 kilometers per hour (kph) with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph, the state weather bureau said.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) No. 2 has been raised over Northeastern part of Cagayan, including Babuyan group of islands, while signal no. 1 is up in Batanes, rest of Cagayan, northern portion of Ilocos Norte, northern portion of Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Isabela, eastern portion of Mountain Province and the eastern portion of Ifugao.

Signal no. 1 may also be raised over the northern portions of Aurora, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya and the rest of Abra, Mt. Province and Ifugao.

Pagasa expects moderate to heavy rains over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Zambales, Occidental Mindoro, northern Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo islands, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Guimaras.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be experienced over Metro Manila, CALABARZON, Bicol Region, and the rest of Visayas, Central Luzon, and MIMAROPA.

Between Wednesday and Thursday (July 18) afternoon, Pagasa said moderate to heavy rains may prevail over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley.

Meanwhile, light to moderate with at times heavy rains may prevail over the Metro Manila, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA.

The state weather bureau advises residents in the said regions, especially in flooding and landslide-prone areas, to take precautionary measures.

Sea travel is also risky over the seaboards of areas under TCWS alerts and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Visayas.

Falcon is expected to closely approach or make landfall over Babuyan-Batanes Islands area Wednesday evening, and may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday (19 July).

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Signal No. 1 raised over 3 provinces due to TD Falcon

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – State weather service PAGASA has raised cyclone warning signal No. 1 over Northern Isabela, Cagayan and Batanes on Tuesday (July 16) due to the effects of tropical depression Falcon.

This means winds of up to 60 kph may be expected in at least 36 hours or intermittent rains may be expected within 36 hours.

Residents in the affected areas are advised to take precautionary measures as landslides and flashfloods are possible due to scattered to widespread rains.

Meanwhile, cloudy skies and scattered rainshowers will affect Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon due to the southwest monsoon or habagat enhanced by the tropical depression.

Metro Manila residents especially in low lying areas are advised to prepare from flashfloods possible during severe thunderstorms.    

Monsoon rains, meanwhile, will be experienced in MIMAROPA, Western Visayas, Masbate, Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon and Northern Samar.

These areas will experience light to moderate with occasional heavy monsoon rains with possible landslides or flashfloods.

As of 4:00 a.m., TD Falcon was estimated at 690 km east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

It is moving west at 30 kph with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph and gustiness of up to 65 kph.

Fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are advised not to venture out over the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone warning signal #1 as well as the eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

According to PAGASA, TD Falcon is less likely to make landfall but it may intensify into a tropical storm as it approaches extreme Northern Luzon tomorrow afternoon or evening.

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