By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
A typhoon with international name “Noru,” spotted northeast of the country, will likely enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat all over again and bring monsoon rains over rain-soaked areas of Luzon and Visayas until the weekend.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather forecaster Nikos Peñaranda said typhoon Noru may not enter the country’s area of responsibility but could possibly enhance the habagat “in the next few days starting Wednesday (August 2).”
As early as Wednesday, Palawan, Visayas, and Mindanao – particularly the western section – have experienced frequent light to moderate monsoon rains with thunderstorms.
Heavy rainfall in the past few days has already saturated many areas, especially mountain slopes of Luzon and Visayas.
Peñaranda warned the public of possible landslides in these areas.
By Thursday until Saturday, western Luzon including Metro Manila may experience the effects of an enhanced southwest monsoon.
Peñaranda pointed out that the southwest monsoon is in “full blast” even if the typhoon is far from the country. “This is what we call a ‘remote effect’ of the typhoon,” he said.
Storm surge in LU
In La Union province up north, a total of 43 houses have been destroyed as a result of a storm surge and torrential rains that caused floods and landslides, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council based in the provincial capital of San Fernando City said.
The consolidated report of the La Union PDRRMC and the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region 1 (DSWD-1) said 20 houses were totally damaged while 23 were partially destroyed in the towns of Bacnotan, Bagulin, Bangar, Naguilian, and San Gabriel.
Two houses in Bangar town were washed out due to storm surge but the occupants were evacuated by municipal personnel sent by Mayor George Pinzon ahead of time.
A storm surge warning remained in effect throughout Tuesday in all coastal areas of Region 1.
The Office of Civil Defense (ODC) also warned fishermen against setting out to sea to fish because of big waves as high as four meters.
Meanwhile, the PDRRMC reported that a total of 111 families or 488 individuals mostly from coastal communities and landslide-prone areas remained in evacuation centers. (With a report from Erwin G. Beleo)