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PAGASA overhauls tropical cyclone warnings system

PAGASA revises tropical cyclone warnings, emphasizing on the impact to a certain areas rather than just strength and speed.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) will be altering its tropical cyclone warnings, emphasizing on the impact to particular areas rather than just strength and speed of the storm to help Filipino people better prepare for incoming typhoons.

Esperanza Cayanan, weather division chief of the PAGASA, said on Thursday, June 15, that the state weather bureau would make the warning short and more simpler for people to apprehend.

The state weather bureau chief said there would be a relative impact for every storm signal. The tropical warning signal No. 4, for an instance, would cause closure of public roads and highways due to fallen trees and collapse of bridges, as well as total power interruption.

Cayanan said that the typhoon’s strength and speed are being highlighted in media more than their direct effect to the specific area.

“For the impacts to specific areas, we will directly coordinate with local officials and they should be equipped with hazard maps,” Cayanan said at the press conference for the observance of Typhoon and Flood Awareness Week next week.

Cayanan explained that the PAGASA’s latest warning system would be discussed during an executive meeting next week.

The country’s weather bureau are expecting around 9 to 14 cyclones to enter the Philippine area of responsibility until the month of November.

PAGASA officially declared the rainy season in the Philippines last May 30. The Philippines normally receives a high volume of rains during the peak of the southwest monsoon season that will take place in July and August.

The strong cyclones, meanwhile, usually hit the Philippine area of responsibility in the latter part of the year.

PAGASA chief, however, do not expect the phenomenon of an El Niño or La Niña until November that could affect the nation’s expected weather pattern and the tropical storm’s behavior.

In the late 2015 to June 2016, the country has had experienced one of the most critical El Niño on record, with the production of main crops such as rice hitting low levels.

The Department of Agriculture (DOA), on the other side of the board, has started adopting preparatory measures amidst the threat of another dry period that may lessen productivity of the farming sector.

The country suffered the worst El Niño on record in 1998 when 70 percent of the Philippines was hit by drought and P4 billion worth of crops were devastated.

Edison Tongol

Edison has been a business journalist since 2007, when he joined The Cetureon news agency. There, he covers about e-commerce, major tech companies, startups and fast-growing small-medium businesses across all industries.

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