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OCD calls for strengthened efforts, collective action amid preparations for rainy season, La Niña

By: Victor Baldemor Ruiz

Following President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s guidance, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and other government agencies are ramping up preparedness measures for the rainy season and La Niña.

“Dealing with tropical cyclones and weather disturbances is not something new to us. It has been a practice that before the onset of the rainy season, government agencies implement preparations for the effects of storms and heavy rainfall. However, the key here is sustained and improved efforts and applying the lessons from previous disasters to our current preparations.” Civil Defense Administrator, Undersecretary Ariel Nepomuceno said.

“We should step up our efforts and work together towards zero casualties. That is the first thing, no deaths and the safety of everyone. Then, of course, mitigate other possible impacts such as flooding,” he added.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the country is now transitioning to the rainy season however due to pre-developing La Niña and ongoing El Niño, its onset will be slightly delayed and is expected to occur in June.

“Pre-developing La Niña historically is characterized by below normal rainfall, therefore, the possibility of a slight delay on the onset of the rainy season is likely with the combined effects of the ongoing El Niño. A transition from El Niño to ENSO-neutral is expected in the April-May-June 2024 season (85% chance) – probability of La Niña (60% chance) in June-July-August (JJA) 2024 season.” the state weather bureau said in its monitoring bulletin.

Meanwhile, La Niña in the last quarter of the year and during the northeast monsoon or Amihan season, will bring above-normal rainfall conditions and more tropical cyclones, PAGASA said.

The OCD is closely coordinating with its regional offices as well as with other government agencies on the preparations for the wet season.

“Strengthening disaster preparedness is always a shared responsibility. Everyone should cooperate and carry out necessary measures,” Usec Nepomuceno said.

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