Metro Manila warned vs monsoon rains August 5-8

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HEAVY RAIN. Enhanced by Typhoon Jose (Halong), monsoon rain causes flooding in Makati City in the evening of August 4, 2014. Photo by Jimzon Jimenez

HEAVY RAIN. Enhanced by Typhoon Jose (Halong), monsoon rain causes flooding in Makati City in the evening of August 4, 2014.

Photo by Jimzon Jimenez

MANILA, Philippines – State weather bureau PAGASA warned Metro Manila to prepare for monsoon rains from Tuesday to Friday, August 5 to August 8, as Typhoon Jose (Halong) enhances the southwest monsoon and affects parts of Luzon.

Metro Manila should expect the heaviest monsoon (habagat) rains from Wednesday to Thursday, August 6 to August 7, state weather forecaster Jori Loiz told Rappler.

Causing traffic jams, class suspensions, and even deaths, unprecedented monsoon rains in recent years have threatened Metro Manila – home to at least 12% of the Philippine population. (INTERACTIVE: #Habagat: Map flood, traffic, and other critical alerts)

On Monday, August 4, for instance, monsoon rains caused heavy traffic in Metro Manila and forced Cavite and Bataan to suspend classes in all levels on Tuesday, August 5.

Loiz said PAGASA or the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration, however, cannot predict the “exact volume” of rain on these days, and advised the public to prepare.

In its weekly outlook issued on Monday, PAGASA said the public should expect the following weather conditions from Tuesday to Friday, as well as the weekend:

Tuesday, August 5:

“Monsoon rains will continue to prevail over Ilocos region and Central Luzon. Residents in these areas are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will experience occasional rains. Visayas and CARAGA will have light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms while the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.”

Wednesday and Thursday, August 6 and 7:

“The southwest monsoon or habagat will continue to affect Luzon, bringing monsoon rains over Metro Manila, and the provinces of Ilocos, Bataan, and Zambales. The rest of northern and Central Luzon will have occasional rains. The rest of Luzon and Western Visayas will have light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms, while the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.

Friday, August 8:

“Monsoon rains will continue over Metro Manila, Ilocos Region, and Central Luzon. The rest of Luzon will experience occasional rains while Visayas and Mindanao will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.”

Saturday and Sunday, August 9 and 10:

“Occasional rains will continue over Ilocos region while the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms.”

In a phone interview, Loiz explained that the period from July to August is the “peak” of monsoon rains in the Philippines. “Expect more rains this month,” he said in Filipino.

Monsoon rains have threatened the Philippines, especially Metro Manila, in recent years. (READ: BY THE NUMBERS: Ondoy, Habagat 2012, Habagat 2013)

In August 2013 alone, the combined effects of the monsoon and Tropical Storm Maring (Trami) affected nearly two million people and left 21 dead. The government pegged damage to farms and structures at P97.3 million.

Disaster scientist Mahar Lagmay said the volume of monsoon rains in August 2013 was unprecedented. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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