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Philippines
Sunday, April 21, 2024

Challenging cascade

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Conserve water and energy consumption.

These, amid what authorities call the peak impact of the El Niño phenomenon which typically leads to reduced rainfall in Southeast Asia where the Philippines is.

From droughts and water scarcity to crop failures, forest fires, and economic disruptions, its impact is felt across many sectors of society.

This phenomenon disrupts the monsoon patterns, causes prolonged droughts and water scarcity in many parts of the region, with rivers and reservoirs drying up, making it difficult for communities to access clean water for drinking and agriculture.

Presidential Communications Office Assistant Secretary and Task Force El Niño spokesperson Joey Villarama told a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing on Monday “What we are asking is to avoid careless, limitless use of electricity and water resources.”

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We are aware and are delighted the government is closely monitoring the effects of El Niño, considering the increasing water demand, but Villarama assured the public that contingency measures are in place.

There is also the possibility of weaker water pressure or water supply shortage is still there, because the water level of dam, particularly the Angat dam is declining.

To date, 80 of 82 provinces are already affected by the El Niño, with 16 under a state of calamity.

It is gratifying the National Water Resources Board has released advisories for water conservation to public pools in subdivisions, condominiums, and other household settings.

The El Niño Task Force has been instructed by President Marcos to secure a comprehensive disaster preparedness and rehabilitation plan and ensure “systematic, holistic, and results-driven interventions” to aid the Filipinos and alleviate the devastating effects of disasters.

El Niño’s typical impact on Southeast Asia is drier-than-average rainfall conditions, including for much of the Maritime Continent during December to February and warmer temperature conditions typically follow drier periods.

El Niño’s impacts on infectious disease spread, malnutrition, and respiratory and mental health varies across different regions.

The most affected areas include:Latin America, and the three members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia.

El Niño has also historically impacted livelihood and health by causing extreme droughts and severe flooding in many countries.

In an agricultural country like the Philippines, where dry spells and droughts are expected, this could mean crop failures affecting food production.

The majority of global climate models suggest that El Niño will likely persist until the March-April-May 2024 season, with a transition to ENSO-neutral conditions expected in the April-May-June 2024 season – referring to the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, a recurring climate pattern involving changes in the temperature of waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.

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