Enhanced habagat floods Manila

Flooding rain and a tornado come to the Philippines as the monsoon intensifies

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    A tornado ripped through the Port Area of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, on Sunday afternoon.

    The Philippine Red Cross said there were reports of damage caused by the tornado, such as felled trees and electricity being cut off, but said there were no casualties.

    Tornadoes are a rare occurrence in the Philippines but the country continues to experience extreme weather as the southwest monsoon, known locally as the "hanging habagat" is in one of its active phases.

    A centre of low pressure within the monsoon flow has intensified monsoon rains for several days now over Luzon, flooding areas both in Manila and the provinces. The National Disaster and Risk Reduction Council has reported at least five deaths due to the monsoon rains. It also reported that 50,000 people are still in 104 evacuation centres in Metro Manila.

    At least 20 houses were affected when two landslides occurred in the hills of San Mateo, to the east of Manila in Rizal Province, on Sunday, after heavy rainfall.

    In the past five days, Manila has recorded in excess of 250mm of rain - more than half the average for the month of August. Heavier rain has fallen further north in Luzon: in the province of Pangasinan, Dagupan city has been inundated by 91 percent of its monthly rainfall.

    In Coron, on Busuanga Island in the central Philippines, the recorded rainfall from the last seven days was 450mm, or 97 percent of its average rainfall for the whole month.

    For another comparison, consider the amount of rain that fell from the most recent typhoon. At the very beginning of August. Typhoon Nida (locally known as Carina) briefly made landfall in northeast Luzon, leaving between 250 and 300mm of rain behind.

    The habagat continues to be significant for another few days. The provinces of Pampanga, Zambales and Bataan, have been placed by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) under rainfall warning until the end of the week.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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