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Drought to hit MM, 16 provinces in May — Pagasa

PhilStar Global logo PhilStar Global 4/25/2019 Rhodina Villanueva
Drought to hit MM, 16  provinces in May — Pagasa © File Drought to hit MM, 16 provinces in May — Pagasa

MANILA, Philippines — More provinces as well as Metro Manila are expected to experience drought next month due to a weak but prolonged El Niño, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced yesterday.

PAGASA said those to be affected by drought are Bataan, Cavite, Marinduque, Romblon, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon and Metro Manila.

In Visayas, the provinces of Aklan, Biliran, Eastern, Northern and Western Samar and Leyte will be affected by drought.

The state weather bureau said Bohol, Cebu and Southern Leyte would experience dry spell.

PAGASA said 41 provinces are currently experiencing drought.

Drought, which is a severe dry condition, is defined as three consecutive months of way below normal (60 percent reduction from average) or five consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall condition.

A dry spell is described by PAGASA as three consecutive months of below normal (21 to 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall condition or two consecutive months of way below normal (more than 60 percent reduction from average) rainfall condition.

Agri damage hits P8 B

Damage to the local agriculture sector due to El Niño has reached the P8-billion mark, but the government said this has no significant effect on total national production.

Latest data released by the Department of Agriculture showed damage and losses from the weak El Niño have increased to P7.96 billion.

This is equivalent to an estimated volume of 268,656 metric tons and damaged agricultural areas at 277,890 hectares affecting 247,610 farmers and fisherfolk.

Affected regions are Cordilleras, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

For rice alone, damage has reached P4.04 billion affecting 144,202 hectares and production volume of 191,761 metric tons.

For corn, damage has increased to P3.89 billion affecting 133,007 hectares of lands with volume loss at 254,766 MT.

Poe not spared by water shortage

Meanwhile, Sen. Grace Poe was not spared by the water service interruption as she complained she could not take a bath early yesterday morning due to water shortage.

“Speaking from experience, dito sa lugar ko, alas kwatro ng umaga ay maliligo sana ako pero walang tubig,” she said in a radio interview.

Poe, who led a Senate probe on the water shortage as chair of the public services committee, welcomed the sanctions imposed on Manila Water Co. Inc.

But she said the P1.13-billion fines on the water concessionaire should not be passed on to consumers.

Poe said Manila Water should clarify when it could resolve the problem of water interruption being experienced by its customers.

She said it is Manila Water’s responsibility to ensure enough water supply.

The senator said the company has assured the public that the Cardona water treatment plant would be 100 percent operational by the end-April to provide additional supply. – With Louise Maureen Simeon, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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