Cebu, 10 other areas experiencing effects of El Niño

Cebu, 10 other areas experiencing effects of El Niño
SunStar File

CEBU and 10 other provinces in the Visayas region have been identified by the state weather bureau as currently reeling from the effects of the ongoing El Niño phenomenon.

Chief Alfredo "Al" Quiblat of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa)-Visayas said that these 11 identified areas are currently categorized into three climatic periods enduring the effects of El Niño.

Under dry conditions are Cebu, Antique, Biliran, Capiz, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Iloilo, Leyte, Negros Oriental, and Samar. Negros Occidental is experiencing a dry spell.

Pagasa said El Niño leads to the elevated sea-surface temperatures. It influences global weather patterns by causing shifts in precipitation, temperature, and atmospheric circulation, resulting in reduced rainfall.

Reports said that its decreased rainfall in provinces can devastate agriculture, leading to crop failures and economic losses due to water scarcity for irrigation.

But Quiblat said Wednesday, February 15, 2024, that these numbers are forecast to increase every month as more provinces will be identified as affected by the phenomenon.

The state weather bureau predicts that the ongoing phenomenon will persist throughout the month and extend into May.

El Niño-hit areas

Quiblat said that as of January, out of the total number of identified areas affected by El Niño, 10 are experiencing dry conditions, while only one province is experiencing a dry spell.

The state meteorologist said dry conditions are specifically defined as two consecutive months of below-normal rainfall, while a dry spell is characterized by three successive months of below-normal rainfall.

"This is the actual record we have based on the actual recorded rainfall measured," Quiblat said in Cebuano.

He added that currently, no province is experiencing drought.

Drought is designated as an extended dry condition marked by either five consecutive months of below-normal rainfall or three consecutive months of way below-normal rainfall.

Increased sightings

Meanwhile, Shelbay Blanco of the Department of Health (DOH) 7 health emergency management services, said the ongoing El Niño has an effect on the surge in the number of snake sightings, particularly of king cobra, locally known as banakon.

Earlier, he said that cobras, due to their heightened sensitivity to temperature variations, might venture beyond their typical habitats during periods of increased heat.

He added that extreme warmth may prompt these cold-blooded snakes to seek out alternative environments with cooler or more favorable temperatures. (KJF)


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