Northern Luzon faces new landslide, flood threats, PAGASA says

MANILA � Threats of landslides and flash floods are again looming in northern Luzon, which Tropical Storm Jolina (international name Pakhar) battered last week.

The new low-pressure area (LPA) found east of the country may intensify this week into a tropical depression (TD) that can cross and affect northern Luzon, said noted weather forecaster Lori dela Cruz of the state weather bureau, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

"That TD may bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains, which can trigger landslides and flash floods there," dela Cruz said, adding it could also bring gusty winds to northern Luzon.

Communities concerned must prepare accordingly and monitor PAGASA's updates on the LPA, she said.

Dela Cruz said the LPA formed within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) around Monday afternoon and could enhance the southwest monsoon or 'habagat' and bring rains to western Luzon.

If the LPA intensifies into a TD, this tropical cyclone (TC) will assume the local name Kiko, the 11th to enter the country this year.

Before intensifying into a tropical storm, Jolina was an LPA that developed into a TD.

Data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) released this week show Jolina affected almost 3,400 people in the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and the Cordillera regions, all in northern Luzon.

The NDRRMC added that in some parts of Luzon, the onslaught of Jolina caused flooding, suspension of classes and work, interruption of power supply, and blockage of roads.

In its Weather Advisory 1 released Tuesday, PAGASA located the LPA at 730 km. east-northeast of Catanduanes province's Virac municipality.

"The LPA may intensify into a TD on Wednesday or Thursday and cross northern Luzon," said PAGASA weather forecaster Nikos PeAaranda.

However, he noted that the TD will likely weaken into an LPA while crossing mountainous northern Luzon.

The weather disturbance may reach northern Luzon's western coast on Friday and move to the West Philippine Sea on the same day on its way towards China, he said, adding that he expects it to re-intensify while over the West Philippine Sea.

The weather disturbance may exit PAR Friday night or early Saturday, he noted.

"Weather will likely improve afterwards," he said.

PeAaranda said several northern Luzon areas may be already saturated from the downpour brought by Jolina, making them more prone to landslides and flash floods from possible rainfall this week.

Source: Philippine News Agency