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PIA Press Release

Weak El Niño now developing - PAGASA

by Rachelle Nessia

Dumaguete City (20 October) -- PAGASA has confirmed that the heat wave El Niño Phenomenon is now on its early stage of development based on current oceanic conditions in the central equatorial Pacific.

In its first El Niño Advisory issued October 17, PAGASA Officer In Charge Prisco D. Nilo said that since August, a rise in sea surface temperatures within the level of a developing El Niño has been observed since May this yer.

Below normal rainfall conditions have been observed in some areas in the country for the past two months, particularly over parts of northern and western Luzon, most of northern Panay Island including Iloilo, southern Cebu, the western parts of Bohol and Zamboanga provinces, most parts of the Caraga provinces, Davao Oriental, eastern part of Davao del Norte and the southern tip of Davao del Sur and South Cotabato.

However, due to the typhoon Milenyo, above normal rainfall conditions were noted in areas affected by the typhoon.

The weather agency forecasts that the warming in the equatorial Pacific will persist through the early part of 2007 and is expected to affect rainfall patterns in the country that could adversely affect domestic water supply, agriculture and hydropower generation.

According to Provincial Meteorological Chief Edsin Culi of PAGASA here, there is a possibility of lesser development of tropical cyclones with the onset of the abnormal weather phenomenon El Niño.

He said the Philippines suffered from the worst El Niño development in the country in 1982 to 1983, heavily affecting the domestic and agricultural water supply in the Philippines.

The government has also asked the international community and the private sector to fund the P6 billion-peso rehabilitation of areas devastated by typhoon "Milenyo" (international codename: Xangsane), officials said.

The storm, which ravaged Metro Manila and the eastern portion of the country in late September, damaged P4.9 billion worth of agriculture, P1.9 billion worth of infrastructure, and P555 million worth of school buildings, said Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz Jr., concurrent chairman of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC).

Meanwhile, there have been no reports so far of Filipinos having been killed or injured in the strong earthquake that jolted Hawaii Sunday, Ariel Abadilla, Philippine Consul General in the island said.

“So far no reports of anyone [Filipino or otherwise] killed due to quake. Over here in Honolulu, no apparent damage other than no electricity and outbound flights are suspended,” said Abadilla in a text message.

“Over at Big Island, 45 minutes by plane from Honolulu where [the] quake happened, Pinoys [ colloquial term for Filipinos] had lots of things [lamps, vases, glassware, cabinets etc] toppling over and breaking in homes,” Abadilla said, adding that reports indicate road damage and loose boulders and soil in the area. (PIA) [top]

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