THE heavy rain that caused floods in Metro Cebu last Friday was “just the normal amount” at 55 millimeters per hour, said the weather bureau yesterday.
“Almost every year we experienced intense rainfall during the rainy season. Expect more rains in the coming days and months,” said Alfredo Quiblat, chief of the Mactan station of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
What does Pagasa mean by normal? It compares current amounts with the average rainfall each month, based on 30 years of data, Quiblat explained. When the rainfall rises by 20 percent or more than the average, then Pagasa considers that “above normal.”
Last month, for example, 214 millimeters of rain were measured, against the normal average for June of 184 millimeters. That increase (about 16 percent) meant that the amount of rain in May was almost above normal.
Despite the floods and traffic, some good has also come from the recent rains.
The Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) yesterday reported that the daily water production normalized this week, with the onset of the rainy season.
From the lowest average daily water production of 190,000 cubic meters per day during the dry spell earlier this year, the water district’s daily production has increased to an average of P220,000 cubic meters starting last week.
This urther increased with the heavy rains last Friday and yesterday.
“We are thankful that MCWD’s two surface water sources, Jaclupan facility in Talisay City and Buhisan Dam in Cebu City, have recovered as well. We hope the trend will continue in the next few weeks for the benefit of our affected consumers,” said Acting General Manager Noel Dalena.
An MCWD press statement stated that Jaclupan well-fields are now producing an average of 30,000 cubic meters per day. At the height of the dry spell that caused the Mananga River to dry up, its yield went down to 6,500 cubic meters per day from an average of 33,000 cubic meters per day.
For its part, the 104-year old Buhisan Dam managed to feed the Tisa filter plant some 2,000 cubic meters per day last week. It is expected to be back to its normal 7,000 cubic meters per day with the heavy rain the other day.
The Buhisan dam had zero water supply from March until last month, because it hadn’t rained.
Dalena said that apart from the two water sources that are contributing to the minimal deficit, fluctuations in the daily production are caused by wells experiencing mechanical or technical problems. Other challenges include low production of some wells of private bulk water suppliers, leaks and other operational glitches.
In areas that are still experiencing water supply problems, MCWD appealed to the affected consumers to report the matter so that it can be resolved immediately.