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P13-M PAGASA hub to improve services in Bicol, Samar areas

By Cet Dematera


A newly inaugurated P13-million worth one-stop building hub equipped with state-of-the-art facilities is anticipated to significantly improve the forecasting services of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Bicol, Samar and other provinces in Southern Luzon.


During its inauguration recently, PAGASA officials said that the Southern Luzon PAGASA Regional Services Division (SLPRD) two-story building houses the forecasting division in the first floor; and, the conference room, maintenance and office of the regional director in the second floor.


The structure in located inside the PAGASA forecasting compound along Magayon Drive in Barangay Cruzada, Legazpi City.


Landrino Dalida Jr., PAGASA deputy administrator, said that one of the major tasks of the center is to localize the issuance of the daily weather forecasts so that provinces within Southern Luzon and the Samar provinces would no longer depend on the PAGASA main office for the weather report.


“In effect, daily weather forecasts could be immediately composed and immediately released to the public without approval from our central office. In short, this forecasting center would be autonomous to our main office as far as the daily weather observation is concerned,” Dalida explained.


He said that the locally composed bulletins would also be translated in the Bicol dialect.


But Dalida was quick to clarify that weather bulletins during tropical depressions (TDs), tropical storms (TS) and typhoons would still be composed and issued by the PAGASA main office.


“But when it concerns weather reports involving weather disturbances such as TDs, TS and typhoons, it is still our central office that would release the bulletins,” Dalida clarified.


And to effectively come out with localized weather forecasts, Dalida said that PAGASA has revitalized its radars in Samar, Masbate, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Catanduanes.


“Of course, for our local forecasters to come up with accurate forecasts, there must be sufficient reliable data that are supplied by our instruments in Southern Luzon. That’s why we have revived our radars and other equipment in Samar and Bicol areas,” the PAGASA deputy chief added.


PAGASA said that it decided to put a forecasting center in Bicol and Samar provinces because these are the areas that are protruding out into the Pacific Ocean and most vulnerable to weather disturbances, particularly destructive typhoons.


Bicol was last struck by super typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses in the last quarter of 2020 that left massive destruction to lives and properties across the region.


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