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El Niño: State of calamity in Zambo City

Zamboanga City has declared a state of calamity due to a dry spell caused by the El Niño phenomenon, a report said Wednesday.

READ: Early El Niño onset feared

City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Chief Elmeir Apolinario told UNTV that the city council passed the resolution declaring a calamity upon his office’s recommendation after drought affected crops, the irrigation for rice fields and the city’s water supply.

“We are now under state of calamity by reason of the advisory [about] the El Niño,” Apolinario said.

The Zamboanga City Water District recently began rationing water after its daily production dropped 50 percent from 158 million liters to 80 million liters.

The local agriculture office, meanwhile, said 600 hectares of rice fields have been hit by the dry spell.

READ: Agriculture prepares to cushion El Niño

Also on Wednesday, the Manila Water Co., which supplies water to 23 cities and towns in Metro Manila and Rizal, said it is ready for the summer months and the El Niño.

Jeric Sevilla, corporate strategic affairs group head, said the water firm has already put in place beginning this month its water supply contingency plan.

He also called on customers in Metro Manila’s east zone covering 1,400 square kilometers to use water “more responsibly and wisely.”

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration earlier said the the country was already experiencing a mild El Niño with most parts of the country would continue to receive below normal rainfall.

READ: Full-blown El Niño drought threatens, weathermen warn

It said Metro Manila would potentially experience drought conditions from April to June. Sevilla said they would implement operational adjustments to better manage their water supply during these months. 

READ: El Niño threatens food security, senator warns

READ: NGCP declares ‘yellow alert’ over tight supply in Luzon

Topics: Zamboanga City , El Niño phenomenon , Elmeir Apolinario , Manila Water Co. , Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration
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