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As LPAs trigger rain, Filipinos urged to watch out for floods, landslides

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) called on the public to be on alert for floods and landslides as two low pressure areas (LPAs) continue to affect much of the Philippines.

"Communities located in flood- and landslide-prone areas, especially in the river basins, must remain vigilant and undertake all necessary precautions to ensure their safety," NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said in a statement released noontime on Sunday, December 27.

"We know we are in the holiday season, but we must continue to be prepared for any emergency," added Jalad.

In its 11 am advisory on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the first LPA is now 80 kilometers west of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, located over the West Philippine Sea.

The second LPA, meanwhile, is already 85 kilometers east of Legazpi City, Albay, or off the region of Bicol.

"Both weather disturbances remain less likely to develop into a tropical depression in the next 24 hours," PAGASA said.

"However, due to improvements in the cloud system of both disturbances over the past 12 hours, the likelihood of tropical cyclone formation is not ruled out at this time." (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Below is PAGASA's rainfall forecast for the two LPAs as of 11 am on Sunday.

Sunday, December 27

Moderate to heavy rain
  • Bicol
  • Quezon
  • Rizal
  • Aurora
  • Bulacan
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Marinduque
  • Romblon
  • Calamian Islands
  • Kalayaan Islands
  • Eastern Visayas
  • Dinagat Islands
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • rest of Calabarzon
  • rest of Central Luzon
  • rest of Mimaropa
  • mainland Cagayan Valley
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Metro Manila
  • rest of Visayas
  • rest of Caraga
  • Northern Mindanao
  • Zamboanga Peninsula

Monday, December 28

Moderate to heavy rain
  • Cagayan including Babuyan Islands
  • Isabela
  • northern part of Apayao
  • northern part of Ilocos Norte
  • Aurora
Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain
  • rest of Cagayan Valley
  • rest of Apayao
  • rest of Central Luzon
  • Metro Manila
  • Calabarzon
  • Kalinga
  • Mountain Province
  • Ifugao
  • Kalayaan Islands

PAGASA also advised affected areas to watch out for floods and landslides, particularly during periods of heavy or prolonged rainfall.

"Adjacent or nearby areas may also experience flooding" even without heavy rain, added PAGASA, "due to surface runoff or swelling of river channels." Surface runoff refers to excess rainwater, which is unable to be absorbed by the already saturated soil. Rivers could also overflow.

"Even though the weather systems are just LPAs, the public should not be complacent," said Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum Jr, as quoted in the NDRRMC statement.

The Philippines has had 22 tropical cyclones in 2020, exceeding the yearly average of 20. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

In December alone, there was Tropical Depression Vicky, which left at least 9 people dead, 2 injured, and 1 missing in Eastern Visayas, Davao Region, and Caraga.

For December 2020 and January-June 2021, these are PAGASA's estimates for tropical cyclones inside PAR:

  • December 2020 - 1 or 2
  • January 2021 - 0 or 1
  • February 2021 - 0 or 1
  • March 2021 - 0 or 1
  • April 2021 - 0 or 1
  • May 2021 - 0 or 1
  • June 2021 - 1 or 2

La Niña has been underway since October, causing more rain than usual in the country. – Rappler.com

Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is a Central Desk editor for Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters, handles the business desk, and ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections.

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