Pagasa: 3 storms in August

07/31/2010 - THE Philippines will have to brace at least three storms in August as the La Niña phenomenon expected to bring above normal rainfall, the state weather bureau said.

Prisco Nilo, director of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said three moderate to strong storms will visit the country next month.

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“These storms will also bring moderate to strong winds and these are expected to bring much rainfall because of the possible onset of the La Niña, which is marked by above normal monsoon rains,” he told Sun.Star.

Susan Espinueva, chief of Pagasa’s hydrometeorology division, said in a separate interview that the rains will be a welcome development especially in Angat Dam, with its receding waters in the past weeks triggered a water shortage.

As of 6 a.m. Friday, the water level in the dam is at 163.72 meters, which is 16.4 meters lower than the critical level of 180 meters.

The water reservoir in Norzagaray, Bulacan supplies 97 percent of the capital’s water needs and the remaining three percent are sourced from deep wells.

Pagasa earlier said it would take at least three strong storms to replenish the water level in the multipurpose dam.

Meantime, the public should expect a rainy weekend due to an intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) affecting Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

In its 5 p.m. bulletin, Pagasa said the country will experience mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southeast to south will prevail over northern Luzon and the coastal waters along this area will be moderate to rough.

Light to moderate winds blowing from the southeast will prevail over Central Luzon and coming from the southwest to south over the rest of the country with slight to moderate seas.

Twin quakes jolt Southern Luzon

Two moderate quakes jolted parts of Batangas and Mindoro Friday morning but no damages had been reported, said the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

In an interview with Sun.Star, Renato Solidum, director of Phivolcs, said the quakes are tectonic in origin but too weak to cause damage.

“It is too weak to affect the ground,” he said.

The first quake, 8:22 a.m., had a 4.6 in magnitude and was traced at 24 kilometers southeast of Mamburao town in Occidental Mindoro. It was felt at Intensity 3 in Mamburao, Puerto Galera in Oriental Mindoro, and Ilijan in Batangas.

Meanwhile, Intensity 2 is recorded at San Pascual, Batangas and Aplaya Bayan, Batangas.

This was followed by a 9:07 a.m. tremor with a magnitude 3.1. Its epicenter was recorded at 22 km southeast of Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro which was felt at Intensity 2 in the area alone.

Last week, more than 250 aftershocks were recorded following a magnitude-6.9 tremor that rocked parts of Mindanao.

The Philippines sits on the “Pacific Ring of Fire” where continental plates meet, causing frequent seismic and volcanic activity.

About 20 earthquakes hit the country everyday but only few are felt (Sun Star)

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