Water sources in 4 towns drying up; August rainfall “way below normal”
posted 3-Sep-2018  ·  
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At least four other towns have reported that water sources are drying up, with data from the government’s weather agency showing that rainfall for the month of August is way below normal.

One of the two reservoirs of potable water in Bagamanoc town is going critical as far was water level is concerned, prompting the municipal government to turn down the request of the Panganiban fire station to fill up its fire truck with water for firefighting purposes.

Panganiban water sources are also drying up, with its previously plentiful supply of free-flowing water now gone. Viga town is also reporting a similar situation, a reliable source told the Tribune.

Water much needed by farmers for their agriculture is almost gone, endangering 500 hectares of planted rice land in Virac alone. In Bato, water has also began to dwindle in different sources.

As early as the end of July, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued a forecast for South Luzon that while the current El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-neutral conditions will continue from July to September 2018, the chance for El Niño and its warmer temperatures will increase up to 68% by the end of the year.

Data provided by PAGASA Virac officer-in-charge Juan Pantino Jr. showed that the precipitous drop in rainfall began in the month of July 2018 when the rain gauge measured only a total of 42.5 mm compared to the 175.6 mm in the previous month of June, or a reduction of 75 percent. The rainfall volume for July 2018 is also just 13.6 percent of the July 2017 volume of 311.6 mm.

The lack of rain worsened this August, with total rainfall as of the 23rd totaling just 16.2 mm. This meager output of the heavens is barely 20 percent of the total rainfall recorded during the same period in August last year.

The 23-day rainfall volume is also way below the 195 mm recorded for the whole month of August 2017 and is just about 10 percent of the 162.5 mm normal rainfall for Virac Synoptic Station for August in over 30 years.

PAGASA, however, forecasts that rainfall will be near normal by September 2018, with expected volume of 101 to 200 mm, followed by below normal rainfall in October particularly for the southern towns. November to January will be rainy as the typhoon season kicks in but monthly rainfall would be just near normal.

Meanwhile, the observed temperature at the Virac Synoptic Station peaked at its highest ever in history at 37.8 degree Centigrade at 2 P.M. of Aug. 23, 2018, or 1.6 degrees higher than the previously recorded extreme on Aug. 2, 1968 at 36.2 degrees Centigrade.

PAGASA also stated that Virac’s hot day also set the record across the nation, with Baguio City also getting its warmest day in August at 15.9 degrees, compared to the 12.8 recorded on Aug. 12, 1936.

The highest observed temperature in the country remains at 42.2 degrees in Tuguegarao in 1912 and 1969.

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