Monsoon season starts as ‘Betty’ leaves country
The rainy season is officially here, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said on Friday after Typhoon Betty (international name: Mawar) dumped rain in parts of Luzon and Visayas.
The state weather bureau said that the passage of Betty, along with the southwest monsoon, or “habagat” brought “widespread rain” in the western sections of Luzon and Visayas, which “signifies the start of the rainy season in the country.”
The southwest monsoon will continue to bring above-normal rainfall conditions over the western part of the country in the following days.
Despite this, a transition to El Niño is still forecast in the next couple of months, with a higher chance of persisting up to the first quarter of 2024.
“El Niño increases the likelihood of below-normal rainfall, which could bring negative impacts (such as dry spells and droughts) in some areas of the country,” the Pagasa said.
Betty, the country’s second tropical cyclone this year, was recently declared out of the country’s area of responsibility on Thursday.
Every year, the country expects around 20 cyclones to enter its territory, commonly resulting in calamities and disasters.
Betty left one person dead and more than 77,000 individuals affected as it exited the country on Thursday afternoon.
77,801 people affected
In its report on Friday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the country’s second cyclone of the year affected 77,801 people in the regions of Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Mimaropa and Western Visayas.
One person, a male age between 15 to 18, was reported dead, with the NDRRMC still validating the information.
Another individual, a 33-year-old male, was injured after a tree fell on him in Barangay Batan in Kabayan, Benguet.
However, Betty left minimal damage on the country’s agriculture and infrastructure, particularly in the Cordilleras, according to the NDRRMC.
As of Friday, the estimated damage to infrastructure was at around P68,695.58, while damage to agriculture was pegged at P25,000.
‘Preparations paid off’
“Based on our monitoring and the reports that we got, the effect of Betty is very minimal in terms of damage. Our preparations paid off,” Raffy Alejandro, assistant secretary and spokesperson for the NDRRMC, told ABS-CBN News Channel.
The government provided assistance amounting to P9.74 million to residents affected by Betty.At its peak intensity as a supertyphoon, Betty reached maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 240 kph.
But it weakened into a severe tropical storm and left the Philippine area of responsibility around 4 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.
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