Pagasa warns five strong typhoons before yearend
The state weather forecasting agency warned on Monday about five more "possible strong typhoons" could enter the Philippines by the last quarter of this year.
In a forum in Manila, Esperanza Cayanan, weather division chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), said it has been observed in the past years that typhoons that hit the country in the latter part of the year were "more intense."
"There are four to five possible strong typhoons, which can enter the country in the last quarter, October, November, December," she said.
On the average, she said there are 20 typhoons that visit the country every year and so far, 15 have entered the Philippines for this year.
The recent typhoon that hit the country was "Ompong," which left over 50 people dead and dozens missing mostly due to the landslides that occurred in northern Luzon.
Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary Renato Solidum said that it was no longer surprising that landslides in northern part of the country, including Itogon, Benguet, occurred.
He said even before Ompong hit northern Luzon, there was already a forecast that it would bring 533 millimeters of rains.
The actual rainfall during the height of the typhoon was 535 mm, he said.
He said massive rains could loosen the soil, especially those mountainous areas, which have few trees planted already.
Salvio Laserna of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau said that even before Ompong, the residents in those landslide-prone areas in northern Luzon, particularly Itogon, were warned that they should evacuate.
However, despite the reported warning, the Department of Interior and Local Government has recorded at least 54 people killed in Cordillera Autonomous Region, most of them due to landslides, Malacanang said.
Ompong made landfall early Saturday morning in Baggao, Cagayan and exited the Philippine area of responsibility in the evening of the same day. Celerina Monte/DMS