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PIA Press Release

Hailstones rain on Zamboanga Sibugay barangay

by Mimi Bern-Edaga

Zamboanga City (April 27) -- A barangay in Imelda, Zamboanga, Sibugay province experienced hailstones Saturday afternoon (April 21), following a heavy rain, lightning and loud thunderstorm.

A resident from barangay Gandiagan who requested anonymity said houses shook when a heavy rains with a series of crackling lightning and loud thunders struck the skies and pebble-like dropping objects tap the tin roofs. Parents were anxious while most of the kids took comfort in their arms.

Daring children went out to play in the rain after the tapping sounds in the roof were gone but they instead found some ice pellets to play on, the resident said.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Administration (PAGASA-IX) Meteorological Officer, Guillermo M. Dulay said, the pellets children were playing with gusto were actually hailstones.

It is not known for sure how hailstones form and grow. We do know that they are spherical or irregularly spherical and usually vary in diameter up to 1/2 in. (1.3 cm); in rare cases hailstones having diameters up to 5 in. (12.7 cm) have been observed. Hail causes much damage and injury to crops, livestock, property, and airplanes.

However, Dulay explained that hailstones is caused by the falling of an 18-kilometer-high thunderclouds. Heavy rains, crackling lightning and loud thunders cause the falling of the thunderclouds.

“This is the second time this happened here, the first was in the early ‘70’s,” the resident said.

Dulay confirmed that occurrence of hailstones in the Philippines also happened in Baguio in 1990, Alakapan South Cotabato in 1999 and also in Lanao del Norte.

“The increase in temperature is beyond doubt, as gradual temperature changes were detected as early as 1950’s. Cases of hailstorm in the country are manifestations of global warming. In some case, the effects may already be occurring but difficult to attribute to global warming.”Dulay said. “But things like backyard tree planting and limiting the use of chlorine and air conditioners, are few of the things each one can do to minimize the global warming impact,” Dulay encouraged.

Similarly, on earth day, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called for an action plan of several components to place the Philippines in the front line of the global effort to combat global warming, starting with the incorporation into the public school curriculum of subjects dealing with global warming and climate change. (PIA-ZC) [top]

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