Taguig to train residents on PAGASA’s new Rainfall Warning System

With the rainy season still in full swing, Mayor Lani Cayetano ordered a campaign to give Taguigeños a better understanding of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) new Rainfall Warning System (RWS).

This developed as the city government acknowledged the continued threat of floods like the one caused by torrential southwest monsoon rains early this month, which submerged 18 of the city’s 28 barangays and displaced 14,000 residents.

“A good grasp of the state weather bureau’s revised Rainfall Warning System is critical in assessing situations during heavy downpour and in getting cooperation from residents in low-lying areas when we have to order their evacuation,” the mayor said.

Mayor Lani tapped the Taguig Public Information Office (PIO), headed by Atty. Darwin Icay, and the Taguig Rescue, headed by Ronald Galicia, to jointly conduct the campaign to educate local folk on PAGASA’s new RWS.

“It will greatly aid our disaster relief and rescue efforts if, from the beginning, Taguigeños already know how to react during threats of flooding or imminent evacuation. This gives City Hall personnel precious time to attend to more pressing matters,” the mayor explained.

Icay said the RWS education campaign will be carried out in barangay halls and schools to spread the information as quickly as possible to the city’s residents.

“Even now, there are typhoons forming and threatening to enter the country. If we’ve learned anything from past calamities like the recent flooding and the deluge caused by Ondoy in 2009, it is that you can never be too prepared,” said Icay, a former Taguig councilor.

The revised, three-level RWS warning system uses the colors yellow, orange and red, in ascending order of urgency.

PAGASA advises the public to “closely monitor weather conditions” when code yellow (indicates heavy rains; 7.5 to 15 millimeter rainfall in the last hour and likely in the next two hours; possible flooding) is raised.

When the situation is under code orange (intense rain; 15 to 30 mm rainfall in the last hour and likely in the next two hours; flood “threatening”), the public is asked to be “on alert for possible evacuation”.

Evacuation is recommended when code red is hoisted (30 mm of rain in the last hour and likely in the next two hours; serious flooding in low-lying areas may occur).

Under its old warning system, PAGASA used the colors yellow for “warning”; green for “alert” and red for “evacuation.” (END)