Pagasa warns of sudden, heavy rains

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

TROPICAL Depression Caloy may have come and gone without a fuss, but the state weather bureau has warned of heavy rains that could trigger flashfloods and landslides.

Around 4 a.m. Sunday, Caloy was downgraded to a low pressure area (LPA), said Hannah Salvador, weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) based in Barangay Molugan, El Salvador City.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, the LPA was spotted somewhere in the West Philippine Sea, she added.


Localized thunderstorms

She said it is unlikely that another tropical depression will follow soon in Caloy’s wake but local government units (LGUs) should not be complacent and must exercise caution since weather disturbance called “localized thunderstorms” could still wreak havoc on communities.

Due to the warm easterly winds coming from the Pacific Ocean, these localized thunderstorms create “cumulonimbus” or thunderstorm clouds.

Cumulonimbus, a Wikipedia article stated, is a dense towering vertical cloud associated with thunderstorms and atmospheric instability, forming from water vapor carried by powerful upward air currents.

Forming alone, in clusters, or along cold front squall lines, cumulonimbus are capable of producing lightning and other dangerous severe weather, such as gusts, hail, and occasional tornadoes, the article added.

Salvador said these thunderstorm clouds could bring sudden and heavy rains lasting one to two hours that would pose danger to those living in landslide and flashflood-prone areas.

So even with the absence of tropical depression, Salvador said the disaster risk reduction and management councils of various provinces, towns and cities should always be on alert for thunderstorm clouds.

On Sunday, Pagasa detected thunderstorm clouds forming in Agusan del Norte, South Cotabato and Compostela Valley, she said.

Meanwhile, the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental reported Sunday that the Province was spared from calamities when Caloy passed by Northern Mindanao over the weekend.

Christine Cabiasa, the provincial information officer, said Caloy passed by the province without wreaking any damage especially to crops and properties.

“So far, walay na-report nga damage except for the overflowing of Odiongan River in Gingoog City,” Cabiasa said in a text message sent to Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro Sunday afternoon.

But, Cabiasa said, the command center of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office in Gingoog is still on standby as of Sunday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 24, 2014.

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