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Philippine Public Storm Warning Signals and Rainfall Advisories

Let us not ignore these warnings and advisories that our government has carefully analyzed for us. It's better be safe than sorry.

It's the rainy season again and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) predicted that at least 17 tropical cyclones will hit the country from May to October this year.

In order get the citizen be well prepared for the upcoming storms, PAGASA issued Public Storm Warning Signals that tells how intense the typhoon will be in the areas that will be affected.

Below are the following public storm warning signal with the 5th one recently added.

Signal #1
This is the first signal which indicates that the area affected should expect intermittent rainfall within at least 36 hours with the speed of winds from 30 to 60 kph. Classes in all public and private pre-schools are automatically suspended as a precaution even though it is unlikely to cause harm.

Signal #2
This second warning signal will be raised in area that will experience the speed of winds from 60 to 100 kph within at least 24 hours. Damages from light to moderate will be expected like some trees may be uprooted and roofs being teared off. People travelling by air and sea are warned and the disaster preparedness agencies should be alerting their respective communities. Classes from pre-school to high school are immediately suspended.

Signal #3
This is the third warning signal where people are advised to seek shelter inside strong buildings, evacuate low-lying area and stay away from coasts or riverbanks as storm surge may be expected. Moderate to heavy damage is expected with the speed of winds from 100 to 185 kph within at least 18 hours. The winds could smack-down trees, destroy crops and houses that are made of light materials. Disruption of electricity and communication services are also expected. All classes in all levels are automatically suspended.

Signal #4
When this warning signal is raised, we are to expect a very intense typhoon with winds of more than 185 kph within at least 12 hours. The storm is potentially very destructive where residential and institutional buildings could be severely damage. Travels and outdoor activities will not be possible and should be postponed. This could also cause a severe flooding in some low-lying areas.

Signal #5
This is the recently added storm warning signal by PAGASA and it will be raised whenever a super typhoon is expected to landfall in an unfortunate area. Very destructive winds of more than 220 kph within at least 12 hours are to be expected. This typhoon will be extremely catastrophic to the community as almost undesirable damage to structures are to be expected. Only a few trees could survive and evacuation of citizen to safer shelters should be done as early as possible before it's too late. The disaster coordinating councils concerned and other disaster response organization should be springing in action in this state of calamity.

To further help citizens prepare for the heavy rains and flooding, PAGASA has also issued the color-coded rainfall and storm surge advisory system.

Yellow Rainfall Advisory

For the community's awareness, this advisory will be raised under the heavy rainfall warning system when ever there is a possibility of flooding in a certain low-lying area where rainfall amount of 7.5 mm to 15 mm is to be expected within one hour which is also likely to continue in the next two hours. Storm surge of 0.5 meter to 1 meter high is also possible in some near river channels and sea shores.

Orange Rainfall Advisory

For the community's preparedness, this advisory will be raised in areas where flooding is considered as threat to it's citizens. Intense rains with 15 mm to 30 mm amount of rainfall within one hour is to be expected to continue in the next two hours and the possibility of storm surges of 1 meter to 3 meters high.

Red Rainfall Advisory

For the community's response, this advisory will be raised when the heavy rainfall is more than 30 mm within one hour or if it continued for the past three hours and is more than 65 mm. This constitute to the ongoing emergency and the communities should be prepared to respond for necessary precautionary measures as severe flooding and storm surges over 3 meters high might continue to get worse and the residents should be ready to evacuate into safety areas.

If you are living in the Philippines and got your smartphone flooded with rainfall warning alerts from NDRRMC along with their ringtone that triggers a mini heart attack, don't worry it's not that alarming but it is still something that shouldn't be ignored. As the government's disaster preparedness arm, It's the duty of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to notify us in times that there will be a heavy rainfall in an affected area. Since June 10, 2018, the NDRRMC has been sending out weather updates to mobile phone users in the Philippines.

I believe some of us here in the Philippines has their own respective reactions and feedback regarding this, ranging from being appreciative to being annoyed. But, the thing is, regardless of what we feel about this unstoppable yet informative text alerts, the NDRRMC will keep doing its job as this is for the sake of reducing the risk of death caused by disasters that will hit the country

Are you also wondering how they made it possible to push this kind of alerts into our mobile phones? Upon researching here's what I found out.

When PAGASA issues a rainfall warning advisory, the NDRRMC converts it into a short and easy to understand message, then they forward it to telecommunications providers to be disseminated to the public. Telecommunication companies are required to send out alerts from the NDRRMC and other relevant government agencies at no cost to mobile phone subscribers under the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act (Republic Act 10369).

Nowadays, almost all of us has their own smartphone and it is the effort of the government to raise our awareness and preparedness in being more responsive in times of calamities through a more direct way of warning us. If you remember how Metro Manila and other affected provinces were caught unprepared during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009 and if families only had received early warnings back then, more lives would have been saved.

If you are not receiving any text alert from NDRRMC or sometimes delayed, don't worry you can still stay tuned for PAGASA's advisory by visiting their official website. The agency also issues advisories on its official Facebook and Twitter accounts. If an advisory was issued on your area, you may check its real-time flood situation by going  to Project Noah website.


Wrap Up

These public storm warning signals, color-coded rainfall advisories and any other disaster warning advisories has been created with the efforts of our government to reduce the risk of losing the lives of many fellow citizens during the times of natural calamities.

We might not able to make it a zero casualty but at least we are now more aware and prepared with any upcoming catastrophe that is about to hit our country.

What are your thoughts about this article?
Let me know in the comments below.

As always, thanks for reading! :)

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