The Philippine Atmospheric, geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Baguio office disclosed that Tropical Storm Betty brought moderate to heavy rains to the city on May 30-31, 2023 that might have increased the possibility of the occurrence of soil erosion and landslides in slide prone areas and potential flooding in low-lying communities.
PAGASA – Baguio chief meteorological officer Engr. Larry Esperanza said that on May 30, 2022, the recorded rainfall in the city was around 174.2 milliliters before it increased to around 182.2 milliliters which were way above the prescribed threshold of 150 milliliters.
He claimed that PAGASA was able to establish the aforesaid threshold to indicate the possible threats of soil erosion in slide-prone areas and flooding in low-lying areas once the rainfall exceeded the same during a certain period of time.
The PAGASA official pointed out that the rains last month brought some 500-600 milliliters to the city that could help in recharging the existing aquifers and water tables to ensure the available supply of water to the residents and tourists alike amidst the threats of the El Nin֮o phenomenon.
Baguio is said to get the highest rainfall annually where the rains bring around 900 to over 4,000 milliliters annually.
Esperanza said that there will be at least 1 tropical storm that will visit the country for this month, 3 to 4 typhoons by July, 2 to 3 weather disturbances by August and 1 to 2 storms each for the months of September to December.
According to him, the effects of the El Nino phenomenon will be felt in the city by October up to next year that is why there is still time for concerned government agencies and local governments to prepare for the implementation of the appropriate mitigating measures to address the impact of the drought in their areas of jurisdiction.
He explained that there will still be rains that will visit the city during the height of the El Nino phenomenon although there will be an evident reduction in the frequency of the rains and the amount of rainfall that will be prevailing in the city and nearby areas.
Esperanza stipulated that the rains that are being experienced by the people are part of the localized thunderstorms that had been projected that will transpire in certain areas around the country and that the effect of Typhoon chedeng is not yet being felt because it is still distant from the land mass although it already entered the Philippine area of responsibility.
He emphasized that the effect of the weather disturbance will be to enhance the southwest monsoon that will bring more localized thunderstorms in the western part of the country in the next several days which will be instrumental in recharging existing water sources to help in addressing the effect of the dry spell at the height of the El Nino phenomenon.
The meteorologist said that appropriate measures should also be adopted by the concerned government agencies and the local government to help in storing the water from the rains which could be recycled and used for productive purposes aside from helping ensure the stability of water supply to the people in their areas of jurisdiction.