‘Basyang’ causes major damage in Luzon

TYPHOON Basyang (international codename Conson) ripped through the main Philippine island, leaving a trail of wreckage in Manila and sweeping shanties into the sea, officials and witnesses said Wednesday.

The Office of Civil Defense said 19 fishermen from the eastern island of Catanduanes had failed to return home and were missing at sea after the typhoon hit the area late Tuesday.

There were no immediate reports of fatalities but communication systems were down amid the chaos of the typhoon’s aftermath, and disaster relief officials were still trying to determine the extent of the damage.

Electricity was knocked out throughout the main island of Luzon, including the country’s capital where fallen tree branches and other debris littered the streets.

Manila’s overhead railway system was also shut down due to the power outage. Knee-high floods and fallen trees were still blocking some roads in and around the capital, obstructing traffic.

The government called off classes at grade and high school levels in Manila.

Several flights in and out of Manila were cancelled as the typhoon was passing but airport officials said their operations had returned to normal after the storm passed.

Basyang, packing maximum gusts of 120 kilometers (74 miles) an hour, hit the eastern side of Luzon late Tuesday and crossed the island before exiting before dawn Wednesday, heading west into the South China Sea at 22 kilometers an hour. (PIA-Bohol)

Schools open as PAG-ASA declares rainy season

WHILE some kids from the private schools trooped for the first day classes today, parents are also told to make sure the kids have enough protection from the rains as the weather bureau has officially declared the onset of the rainy season.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) at least five of their weather stations have recorder some 25 millimeters of rain in the past consecutive five days to officially push them to officially declare the rainy season.

PAG-ASA Administrator Prisco Nilo was quoted as saying that the 25 mm rains recorded in at least 5 weather stations across the country and the presence of the northwest monsoon or hanging habagat has been the main criteria to determine the onset of the rainy season.

With this, rains would be usually felt all over the country until September, when the season ends.

There are monsoon breaks however, Nilo said as he explained that there would be times without rain.

For the school kids however, there should be some provisions for the rain which may include raincoats, umbrellas, boots and extra pair of shirts. (PIA)

PAGASA: Rainy season officially starts

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Sunday said that the rainy season of 2010 has started in the Philippines due to several factors that brought rain in past days.

“The development of a series of low pressure systems, also known as heat lows, in the southern part of mainland Asia that linked with the low pressure area near Northern Luzon has generated and sustained the southwesterly winds in the country which brought rains for several days especially in the western section of the country,” PAGASA said in a statement posted on its website.

This development signals the onset of the rainy season on the first week of June in areas under Type 1 climate, which covers the western parts of Luzon and Visayas.

The rainy season, which is associated with the southwest monsoon, is expected to last until end of September.

However, PAGASA said monsoon breaks or periods of no rain for a few weeks are expected during the season.

Residents in low-lying areas are advised to watch out for above-normal rainfall due to the La Niña phenomenon in the third quarter. (PIA-Bohol)

Two weather systems bring rains this week

TWO weather systems are expected to dump rains in the country this week, signaling a rest from scorching summer heat, but the rainy season is far from starting yet.

According to reports quoting Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) senior weather forecaster Robert Sawi, the weather bureau has spotted a frontal system that is expected to dump rains over the western section of Northern Luzon on Wednesday or Thursday, while an inter-tropical convergence will bring rains over Mindanao.

But Pagasa administrator Prisco Nilo also said no extreme weather disturbance is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility this week.

Warm weather will also prevail until the end of the month or until a tropical cyclone signals the start of the rainy season next month.

Nilo earlier said chances that a La Niña phenomenon may occur this year rose 35 percent.

La Niña is a weather phenomenon that brings excessive rainfall, reports said. (PIA-Bohol)