5-day rainfall already exceeds half of July average
MANILA, Philippines — Over the past five days alone, several places in the country have already absorbed more than half the usual rainfall for the month of July, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) reported on Saturday.
The weather bureau explained that rainfall distribution varies from one region to another, depending on the direction of the winds and the lay of the land, so the mean rainfall can range from 965 millimeters to 4,064 mm annually. Pagasa said Baguio City, Eastern Samar and Eastern Surigao received the greatest amount of rainfall while the southern portion of Cotabato received the least amount of rain.
But from July 19 to 23, Pagasa stations across the country have already recorded more than half the normal amount for the entire month.
Above normal rain
Four stations at the Port Area in Manila, Tanauan, Batangas, Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City, and Romblon recorded above the normal rainfall for the month of July.
The stations in Iba, Zambales; Abucay, Bataan; and Subic recorded more than 500 mm of rainfall in just five days.
“Some stations, like those in Iba [and] Baguio, recorded more than 50 percent of normal rainfall for the month of July in just five days,” weather specialist Ariel Rojas explained during a briefing.
Much of it was due to Typhoon “Fabian,” which was renamed Typhoon “In-fa” by foreign meteorologists even before it left the Philippine area of responsibility at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
But it was also due to the annual southwest monsoon, locally known as habagat, that was enhanced by the typhoon, which was headed for Taiwan.
Surveys on the ground are still ongoing, but the bad weather has destroyed 906 hectares of rice, corn, high-value crops and livestock, affecting about 885 farmers and backyard raisers.
About 228 metric tons of produce were lost to the calamity, the majority of which were rice farms in the Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Western Visayas regions, the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported.
So far, the DA estimated initial damage at P12.38 million as of Saturday afternoon.
Over 100,000 bags of rice seeds and 11,000 bags of corn seeds are available for distribution to farmers, as well as drugs and biologics for livestock and poultry raisers, the DA said.
But the DA advised farmers and fishers to remain alert because the monsoon is still expected to bring heavy to intense and torrential rain.