13 to 18 tropical cyclones in PH for 2024; government braces for rainy days

MANILA. Simultaneous showdown inspection of the disaster response equipment and capabilities in Camp Crame on May 28, 2024.
MANILA. Simultaneous showdown inspection of the disaster response equipment and capabilities in Camp Crame on May 28, 2024.Photo by Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippines may experience around 13 to 18 tropical cyclones until the end of 2024, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Thursday, May 30, 2024.

In a public briefing, Pagasa Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Marcelino Villafuerte II said the expected number of tropical cyclones within the year is lower than its usual average of 19 to 20 weather systems.

In 2023, due to the El Niño phenomenon, only 11 tropical cyclones entered the country.

On Wednesday, May 29, the weather bureau declared the onset of the rainy season.

The El Niño phenomenon is expected to end by June, while the La Niña phenomenon, which is associated with above-normal rainfall conditions, may develop between June and August.

The first tropical cyclone that struck the Philippines for 2024 was Aghon, which, based on the record of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), left six individuals dead and damaged over P21.6 million worth of agriculture products and P365 million worth of infrastructure.

Aghon also affected 51,858 persons or 16,404 families, displacing 21,225 individuals, in 20 provinces.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier ordered the creation of a task force to develop a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan for El Niño and La Niña, and to provide “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to help the public cope and minimize the weather phenomenon’s devastating effects.

In a television interview, Task Force El Niño spokesperson Assistant secretary Joey Villarama said efforts to cushion the effect of the wet season is ongoing especially the clearing of drainages, waterways and flood gates to lessen flooding in the communities particularly in the low-lying areas.

He said over 4,000 flood control projects have been completed in preparation of the rainy season, while 4,100 projects are still being finished.

Villarama said concerned government agencies, including the local government units, were also preparing particularly on measures to assist the families who will be affected by the upcoming calamities.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development earlier assured the availability of sufficient food and non-food supplies necessary during typhoons.

MANILA. Simultaneous showdown inspection of the disaster response equipment and capabilities in Camp Crame on May 28, 2024.
MANILA. Simultaneous showdown inspection of the disaster response equipment and capabilities in Camp Crame on May 28, 2024.Photo by Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

For its part, the Philippine National Police (PNP) earlier this week held a simultaneous showdown inspection of their disaster response equipment and capabilities.

Across the 17 Police Regional Offices (PROs), the PNP allocated 6,928 personnel; 40,613 search, rescue, and retrieval (SRR) equipment; 5,462 vehicles; and 43,519 supplies, with a total budget of P203,729.34.

Meanwhile, the National Support Units (NSUs) received resources comprising 805 personnel, 933 SRR equipment, 83 vehicles, and 1,016 supplies, with a total budget of P7,825,947.84.

MANILA. Simultaneous showdown inspection of the disaster response equipment and capabilities in Camp Crame on May 28, 2024.
MANILA. Simultaneous showdown inspection of the disaster response equipment and capabilities in Camp Crame on May 28, 2024.Photo by Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

"Handa po tayo sa lahat ng sakuna (We are ready for all emergencies),” said PNP Chief General Rommel Marbil.

"Noong nakita ko itong mga equipment natin, kampanteng-kampante po ako. Masasabi kong ligtas po ang komunidad,” he added.

(When I saw the equipment, I was complacent. I can say that the community is safe.)

Meanwhile, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) reminded the public to always be vigilant and to follow the directions of their local government units during times of disasters to avoid untoward incidents. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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