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RAINS WELCOME IN DROUGHT-HIT AREAS

‘Chedeng’ weakens on landfall in Davao Occidental

/ 05:17 AM March 20, 2019

MALITA, Davao Occidental — Tropical Depression “Chedeng” has weakened into a low pressure area as it made landfall in this town on Tuesday, the government weather bureau said.

All tropical cyclone warning signals had been lifted, although scattered to widespread moderate and heavy rains were expected in the provinces of Surigao del Sur and Agusan del Sur and the Davao and Soccsksargen (South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos) regions and portions of Northern Mindanao, Bangsamoro and Zamboanga Peninsula, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

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As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, the weather disturbance was seen 140 kilometers southwest of Cotabato City, or 145 km east southeast of Zamboanga City.

The prospect of rain, however, seems to offer relief for areas hit by El Niño. In an earlier press conference, the weather bureau said the showers were “welcome” for Mindanao, as it had been experiencing way below normal rainfall in recent months, or a 60-percent reduction in average rainfall.

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Flaviana Hilario, Pagasa deputy administrator for research and development, said drought had already hit the provinces of Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga Sibugay, Maguindanao and Sulu.

Harry Camoro, provincial disaster risk reduction management action officer in Davao Occidental, said 471 families were still staying in evacuation centers, while food packs had been distributed by the municipal social welfare and development office on Tuesday morning.

He said they were monitoring all landslide-prone areas in the province, particularly those in the towns of Don Marcelino and Jose Abad Santos. —REPORTS FROM ORLANDO DINOY, MART SAMBALUD AND JHESSET O. ENANO

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TAGS: Philippine weather, Tropical Depression Chedeng
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