Lagmay: ‘Unprecedented’ Habagat rains
The heavy rains in Luzon have not been seen in 100 years

WAIST HIGH. People brave floodwater at Vito Cruz, which is not passable as of 8am Tuesday, August 20. Photo by John Allanegui

MANILA, Philippines – The heavy rains falling on Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon are unprecedented, Project Noah Head Dr Mahar Lagmay said on Tuesday, August 20.

In an interview on ANC, Lagmay said that the voluminous monsoon rains brought by the southwest Habagat winds has not been seen in the country’s history.

“We’ve been having Habagat a long time ago. Over the past 100 years, it’s only now we experience Habagat deliver really heavy rains,” said Lagmay.

PAGASA on Tuesday morning reissued its red rainfall warning for Metro Manila as Tropical Storm Maring (international codename Trami) and the southwest monsoon continued to bring rain to Luzon and the Visayas.

On Sunday, the state weather bureau also advised the affected areas to brace for severe flooding.

READ: Non-stop rain, flood in NCR, 8 provinces

Climate change

Lagmay added that scientists have yet to determine the exact cause of this phenomenon but some speculate it may be related to the rising sea surface temperature due to climate change.

He also said that the metropolis’ geography also affects the wet weather as Metro Manila is a valley plain surrounded by mountain ranges in Zambales and Quezon provinces. Moisture evaporating from the seas is accumulated near the mountain ranges and condenses into heavy clouds as it moves inland.

Lagmay said flooding is a natural occurrence particularly in low-lying coastal areas and places near the rivers in Bacoor and Tanza in Cavite. High tide also blocks the water from draining into the sea.

A state of calamity has already been declared by the provincial government of Cavite and Laguna. –