Aquino questions rainfall color coding systemBy DJ Yap, Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
President Aquino appears not to be satisfied with the measures the government has taken to warn the public about the coming onslaught of rains.
“Am I satisfied? Of course this is still a new system that we need to disseminate. We need your help to disseminate it to the people,” Aquino on Tuesday said of the weather bureau’s color-coded warning system for rainfall when asked if he was satisfied.
The President said there might be better ways to explain what the system involved to the public.
“I don’t know how many are familiar with the color coding system. We need more dissemination campaigns to make people understand. If I will ask, what is 1 millimeter of rain? It’s not so vivid,” he said.
On Monday night and Tuesday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) raised a red warning signal over Metro Manila, indicating heavy to torrential rainfall of 16 to 40 millimeter per hour.
Under a red warning, the rainfall falls at a rate of 30 mm per hour, which should prompt evacuation in low-lying areas.
Under a green warning, the rainfall is between 15 and 20 mm per hour, which means residents should prepare for possible evacuation.
Under a yellow warning, the rainfall is between 7.5 and 15 mm per hour, which indicates residents should be on the alert.
Pagasa Administrator Nathaniel Servando reported that the rainfall had peaked at 33 mm per hour for a short time on Monday night, well above the threatening level.
Thousands of residents in Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila, particularly those living near river channels, left their homes to seek higher ground in different evacuation centers.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista told the Inquirer that most of the evacuees in the city did not realize how heavy the rainfall would be in Metro Manila despite warnings issued on Monday night by the weather bureau.
“This (downpour) is practically 75 percent of what (Tropical Storm) ‘Ondoy’ gave up. We did not expect this to happen,” he said.
Bautista directed officials in all barangays (villages) in the city to submit alternative routes that rescue, relief and medical workers could use so the delivery of social services would not be paralyzed.