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The Philippines may experience its first storm this year if a low-pressure area is spotted



The Philippines may experience its first storm this year if a low-pressure area is spotted

By means of Adrian H. Halili And Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza, Reporters

A LOW pressure area (LPA) in the southern Philippines is expected to bring rain to the country this weekend and could develop into a storm – the first this year, according to the state weather agency.

It was spotted 400 miles east of Davao City at 3 p.m. on Thursday and will be named “Aghon” if it becomes a tropical depression on Friday, weather forecaster Ana Clauren-Jorda told a news briefing.

“By Sunday it is possible to intensify and become a tropical storm,” she added.

Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, is experiencing a heatwave as record temperatures forced schools to close.

Millions of Filipino students had been asked to stay home after the Education Department canceled in-person classes. Students had to switch to homeschooling.

Ms. Jorda said the potential typhoon is likely to bring rain to Eastern Visayas, Caraga and parts of southern Luzon even if it is expected to remain offshore.

The provinces of Camarines Sur, Catanduanes and Northern Samar may also experience heavy rainfall this weekend.

Light to moderate rain is expected in Quezon province, the rest of Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

Ms. Jorda said the LPA could develop into a severe tropical storm if it leaves the Philippines. Tropical cyclone wind signals may be generated over the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

The weather bureau said the weather disturbance could move northwest through Saturday, then southeast by Sunday. The storm may move to the eastern part of the Visayas and Luzon.

“The possibility of a landfall in the mentioned areas cannot be ruled out,” she said.

Minister of Science and Technology Renato U. Solidum, Jr. warned of possible flooding and landslides in areas with heavy rainfall.

The weather bureau expects that ten to thirteen tropical cyclones will enter the country between June and November.

The Philippines lies along the typhoon belt in the Pacific Ocean and experiences about twenty storms every year. It is also located in the so-called Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has approved a proposal to gradually return to the old academic calendar, given the extreme heat in summer.

This year’s classes will start on July 29 and end on April 15, 2025, the presidential palace said in a statement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy S. Binay has filed a resolution asking the Senate to investigate the government’s contingency plans for heavy rains under La Niña.

“It is imperative that the Senate determine the planned response of government agencies to ensure the country’s preparedness in addressing the consequences of the La Niña phenomenon,” he said in Senate Resolution No. 1034, which she filed on May 22.

More provinces in the southern Philippines have received aid worth millions of pesos after being hit by El Niño, which the government said has affected more than 300 cities.

Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, one of the poorest provinces in Mindanao’s Bangsamoro region, received P10 million each during a visit by Mr. Marcos, the presidential palace said in a statement.

Mr. Marcos also handed over P10 million each to the provinces of Maguindanao del Sur, Maguindanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

During a program in Tawi-Tawi on Thursday, the President also distributed P10,000 in cash assistance to various beneficiaries. He also gave the same amount to people later in the day during his visit to Maguindanao del Sur.

Mr. Marcos earlier said he would visit provinces affected by El Niño to understand the needs of affected sectors, including farmers and fishermen.

Arjan P. Aguirre, a political science professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, said Mr. Marcos is expected to be more active in activities that would directly benefit ordinary Filipinos, such as aid distribution as the midterm election campaign period approaches. of 2025 is approaching.

“He will focus on issues that resonate better with the majority, are more relatable to their current status and more achievable changes that will directly and directly benefit them,” he said in a Facebook Messenger chat. “It is both strategic and pragmatic given our rich history with the populist style of governance.”

The Bangsamoro region, which is in a state of disaster, continues to be hit by El Niño, Mr Marcos said in Tawi-Tawi.

The country’s El Niño task force said 374 cities have declared a state of emergency over the weather pattern, which has caused €9.5 billion in agricultural damage.

The government expects fewer local governments to be added to the list as the country is nearing the end of El Niño, task force spokesman Jose Maria “Joey” M. Villarama II told a news briefing.

“Even if El Niño is not over yet, we should prepare for La Niña because it is more destructive to agriculture,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.

He urged local government units to start identifying areas prone to flooding and other hazards and strengthen flood control projects. — of John Victor D. Ordoñez