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Erratic weather condition

Once again, we are experiencing an erratic weather condition, a pattern that will likely persist because of the changing climatic situation of the world. Just a few months ago, weather experts warned the occurrence of the prolonged dry season, or what we call El Niño, in the Philippines, and this may last until early next year.

In fact, there were warnings of possible water shortage and rationing in Metro Manila, because the supply of water in several reservoirs in Luzon started to diminish. Such situation does not only threaten the water supply for domestic purposes, but including agriculture and industrial requirements, too.

While the government is preparing certain measures to combat the possible impacts of the El Niño, here comes typhoon Lando that began pouring light to moderate to heavy rains, in many parts of Luzon, including Metro Manila, since Saturday. In a way, this is a relief for the possible water shortage, since the much-needed rain refilled the different reservoirs. However, extreme conditions may occur once the water level of the dams exceeds their capacity, and the operators of these dams will be forced to release water that shall possibly cause severe flooding.

While I am preparing this piece yesterday morning, the Philippines' weather bureau, PAGASA,hoisted storm signal number 4 in Aurora province, where the typhoon is expected to make a landfall. Storm signal number 3 was up in Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Ifugao, northern Quezon, including Polillo Islands, while signal number 2 was raised in Cagayan, including Calayan and Babuyan group of islands, Benguet, Mountain Province, Abra, Kalinga, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Zambales, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, rest of Quezon, Camarines Norte and Metro Manila. Signal number 1 was declared in Batanes, Bataan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Lubang Island, Northern Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Camarines Sur, Albay and Catanduanes. Flooding and landslide warnings were also issued in many parts of the typhoon-affected areas.

The climate change phenomenon is a global concern that is already threatening the global community. In recent times, we witnessed devastations of severe magnitude due to natural hazards and risks, like typhoons, storm surges, and hurricanes. How can we ever forget typhoon Yolanda that battered numerous provinces in the country, and brought catastrophic circumstances that no one had probably imagined?

According to experts, the deteriorating quality of our environment is one of the major factors why natural hazards and risks are getting worst and extreme.

Our natural ecosystems, from the forests to marine ecosystems, have deteriorated through the years, and their values and roles in mitigating the impacts of natural hazards and risks are likewise affected. This is quite very unfortunate, especially in the Philippines, because we have been identified as one of the five countries in the whole world to be susceptible to natural hazards.

The voluminous emissions of greenhouse gases have been known as the leading cause to the irreversible destruction of the ozone layer, which supposedly helps regulate the climatic pattern of the Earth. This condition is already beyond repair, and the reason why it is very important, not only to prepare, but to include also the implementation of adaptation measures due to this phenomenon.

The term “climate proofing” surfaced due to the need of making sure that mitigation and adaptation strategies are incorporated in various development plans, programs, projects, and activities by both government and nongovernment institutions. *

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