4 CL provinces under 'dry spell'

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — The provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon are now under the dry spell amid the El Niño phenomenon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa).

Pagasa said the latest assessment on the phenomenon showed that the four Central Luzon provinces are among those under a dry spell.

Others experiencing the similar effect are Abra, Isabela, Metro Manila, Occidental Mindoro, Quirino, Rizal, and Negros Occidental.

Under drought conditions are Apayao, Benguet, Cagayan, Cavite, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, La Union, Mountain Province, Nueva Vizcaya, Palawan and Pangasinan.

The provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Masbate, Oriental Mindoro, Antique, Biliran, Capiz, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Guimaras, Iloilo, Leyte, Negros Oriental, Samar, Lanao del Norte, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi are now experiencing dry condition, Pagasa's assessment showed.

Pagasa explained that a dry spell is defined as three consecutive months of below-normal rainfall conditions (21 to 60 percent reduction from average rainfall).

A dry condition is defined as two consecutive months of below-normal rainfall conditions (21 to 60 percent reduction from average rainfall).

The state weather bureau said however, that the number of affected provinces (41 as of this posting) is less than the 50 areas recorded based on its January 21 assessment.

Despite the reduction, Task Force El Niño said it would reinforce preparedness efforts due to the strong and mature El Niño that is expected to continue this month and is likely to persist until May.

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