THE possibility of a heat wave hitting the country is not a far-off reality during this El Niño phenomenon, according to Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Pagasa spokesman Nathaniel Cruz said that while the weather bureau is not saying a heat wave will definitely strike the country, the possibility still remains.

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“The temperature does not have to be that high to say that we have a heat wave. If we experience temperature that is two degrees Celsius higher than the normal heat, (that could be considered as heat wave),” Cruz said.

Resident weather forecaster Chris Perez, meanwhile, contradicted reports that the highest temperature during the El Niño phenomenon period is forecasted to be recorded within this week.

“We cannot determine when that will happen because forecasts (on temperature) are done on a daily basis,” Perez told Sun.Star.

Perez said the temperature could go as high as 40 degree Celsius, as compared to the average of 35 degree Celsius recorded in the past few days.

The dry spell worsened the heat being experienced in the country during this summer time season.

Pagasa is still expecting rain to fall on the month of June in Manila, said Cruz.

Quake jolts Batanes anew

In other developments, two tremors shook Batanes early morning of Tuesday, according to Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Director Renato Solidum.

Phivolcs recorded the first earthquake at 1:22 a.m.

The magnitude-5.1 tremor was felt at intensity 5 in the center of the province and was felt at intensity 4 in Batan Island.

The 11-kilometer-deep quake was enough to wake residents up.

An aftershock with a magnitude of 4.8 followed soon after.

No damages were recorded by the authorities.

According to Phivolcs, Batanes has been experiencing bouts of quakes since March 1 because it is undergoing an "earthquake or seismic swarm."

Earthquake swarms are events where a local area experiences frequent tremors in short period of time.

It can be predicted by forecasting the main shock and aftershock.

Last March 1, four moderate tectonic earthquakes were recorded by government volcanologists.

A 4.9 magnitude quake on March 4 was felt at Intensity 3 in Basco, Batanes. (Angela Casauay/Sunnex)