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5amAugust31

As we bid goodbye to the 8th month of the year, rains prevail in some parts of Luzon. At 4:00 ,AM today based on the latest PAGASA data, the low pressure area was spotted at approximately 330 kilometers east southeast of Baler, Aurora. The said weather disturbance is embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) affecting Central and Southern Luzon.

ITCZ is an area where winds from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres meet. When winds converge, clouds are formed, bringing rains and thunderstorms in the affected areas. It is also dubbed as the breeding ground of low pressure areas, which could develop into tropical cyclones or “bagyo.”


Today, cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and isolated thunderstorms are expected in Central Luzon, and the provinces of Quezon, Quirino and Isabela. Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with chances of isolated thunderstorms.


No gale warning is issued, thus, sea conditions will be slight to moderate. Fishing boats could sail but all are still advised to be cautious in venturing out into the seas.


PAGASA Weather Forecaster Jun Galang says the LPA has a slim chance of developing into a cyclone. However, the public should keep monitoring updates and further development.


Galang also mentions that “habagat” could still prevail in the coming days as we go through the month of September. Though “ber” months are just a few hours away, the cold breeze of “amihan” will not be felt right away.

September is usually the transition period for wind systems. We may experience monsoon breaks but “habagat” could still affect the country in the coming days or weeks mostly if a cyclone is present within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

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Employees and students live for long weekends—that unexpected treat when a holiday falls right before or after a weekend. And to make sure every minute of your break is well spent, here are some ideas that are both fun and budget-friendly.


Bond with family and friends.
1


No one in the family or barkada has school or work, so it’s the best time to plan your bonding time with them. Go on a food trip in the many food destinations in the metro, including Maginhawa Street in Quezon City, where you can find a variety of restaurants. If you want a fun, indoor activity, try wall climbing in Power Up Centro Atletico near Cubao-X. After which, you can chill in the specialty stores and eateries in the area.


Go out and enjoy nature.
2


Spending some time with Mother Nature allows you to unwind and clear the mind a bit. Green is a calming color, so let the trees soothe your workaholic self. You can visit free public parks, such as Fort Santiago in Intramuros, as well as the Ayala Triangle Gardens and Salcedo Park in Makati where you can sit under the shade, and quietly read a book.


Sweat it out.
3


If you have a desk job, chances are you’re not getting enough exercise. Boosting you energy, controlling your weight and improving your mood are only some of the few benefits you can get when you exercise. Take some time to brisk walk or jog around the neighborhood. Check the gym nearest to you, and check out the latest trends in fitness such as anti-gravity yoga, pole dancing and circuit training.


Go on a much-needed staycation.
4


On weekdays, we often rush to go to the office, not bothering with organizing our rooms. The long weekend serves as the perfect opportunity to get rid of that clutter, making sure that our room gives us a sense of peace and ease. To help you get started, read Marie Kondo’s best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.


Do nothing.
5


It’s your time to veg out. So go ahead and watch movies or better yet, engage in a guilt-free snoozefest with your favorite pillows for company. Sometimes, it’s best to just rest, allowing yourself to regain energy for another round of the work week.


This National Heroes’ Day long weekend, pamper your inner, workaholic hero. Even heroes need to take a break and slack off once in a while, so they can do their jobs better. Here’s to taking it easy, and enjoying every single moment of your long vacation!

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Within the next two to three days, the country will have good weather condition. There are no cloud cluster or any weather disturbance outside Philippine boundary, PAGASA said.

Today, only the region of Ilocos will experience rainy weather due to the southwest monsoon (habagat). Light to moderate rain showers are expected in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan and La Union.

The rest of the country, including Metro Manila, will only have a slim chance of rain showers.



Ineng + Habagat Rainfall Data

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PAGASA said, rain showers brought by Typhoon Ineng (Goni) and habagat over Metro Manila has only reached 144 mm. The normal rainfall data for August in Metro Manila is at 504 mm.

There will be frequent rains before the month ends, the weather bureau stated.

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After the hot and humid weather, everyone anticipates the cool-down effect brought by rains. But despite the relief it brings, the wet season also poses numerous threats to health. Arm yourself against the top three diseases that proliferate during rainy season.

DENGUE

Dengue is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes, which propagate during the rainy season as these inhabit areas with stagnant water.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are the primary and secondary carriers of the virus, respectively. They breed even in the small amounts of water in storage units such as tanks, flower vases, cisterns and backyard litter.
Based on the latest report from DOH, from January to June 2015, a total of 32, 440 suspected dengue cases were reported nationwide. Majority of cases were male at 54%. A total of 105 deaths were recorded.
Dengue can be detected with its symptoms, such as the sudden onset of high fever which may last from 2 to 7 days, joint and muscle pain and pain behind the eyes, weakness, skin rashes, nose bleeding, abdominal pain, vomiting, dark-colored stools and difficulty in breathing.
The DOH reminds the public to take note of its proper treatment, prevention and control.

Treatment
• Do not give aspirin for fever.
• Increase intake of water or rehydrate a dengue suspect.
• If symptoms persist for 2 or more days, bring the patient to the nearest hospital.

Prevention and Control
Follow the “4-S” against Dengue
1. Search and destroy.rain
• Cover water drums and pails.
• Replace water in flower vases regularly.
• Clean gutters of leaves and debris.
• Collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jar, bottles and other items that can collect and hold water.

2. Self protection measures
• Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
• Use mosquito repellant every day.

3. Seek early consultation.
• Consult the doctor immediately if fever persists after 2 days and rashes appear.

4. Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak or a hotspot.

LEPTOSPIROSIS
In tropical countries like the Philippines, leptospirosis is rampant during the rainy season when there is a higher chance of contact with water contaminated by rat urine or feces. The bacteria require a wet environment in order to live. Caused by the pathogenic leptospira species of bacteria, leptospirosis can be contracted by swallowing contaminated food, or skin contact with contaminated water. Cuts, blisters and abrasions on the skin can serve as points of entry for the bacteria.
The early stages of the disease may include high fever, muscle pain, chills, and redness in the eye, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and rashes.
DOH reports show that a total of 291 suspect leptospirosis cases were reported from January to June 2015. Most cases were recorded from Region VI, National Capital Region, Region III and Region II.

Treatment
• Take antibiotics duly prescribed by a physician.
• Early consultation

Prevention and Control
• Avoid swimming or wading in potentially contaminated water or floodwater.
• Use proper protection, like boots and gloves, when work requires exposure to contaminated water.
• Drain potentially contaminated water.
• Control rodents in the household by using rat-traps or rat poison and maintaining cleanliness in the house.

INFLUENZA
Influenza is a viral infection that targets the respiratory system. A study conducted by the US National Institutes of Health shows that influenza tends to occur during the rainy season in the tropics. Rain and humidity are the key factors in the tropical regions.
According to DOH, influenza is characterized by fever, headache, sore throat and cough. The incubation period is between 1 to 3 days. Influenza is an airborne disease and can spread within a crowded population.
A total of 47,482 influenza-like illness cases were reported nationwide from January to July 2015. Reports from DOH shows that this is 1.7% higher compared to that of last year (46, 696). Majority of cases were male with 51.4%, and belonged to the 1 to 4 years age group.

Prevention
• Give influenza vaccinations preferably annually.
• Minimize contact with a person who has influenza.
• Avoid crowded places.
• Distance yourself at least 1 meter from people who are coughing.
• Cover mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of the virus.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water

The rains may provide a touch of romance of melancholy to our days, but it pays to be aware of their downside. At any time of the year, we must always pay attention to our health, since having a strong immune system prevents any illness that come our way—all year round.

With an average of 19 to 20 tropical cyclones, floods are just some of common incidents that we have to deal with each year. In the latest report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), as of August 24, 2015, 17 persons have died due to several incidents related to the wrath of typhoon Ineng and the enhanced habagat – including floods and landslides.

Ineng entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on August 18, 2015. Storm signals were raised in several areas of Northern Luzon, but its indirect effect was also felt in most parts of the country due to the enhanced habagat. Forty-six flooding incidents were recorded in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Cagayan, Oriental Mindoro and National Capital Region (NCR).

Source: NDRRMC
Source: NDRRMC


This rainy season, various weather systems are expected to affect the country, generating large amounts of precipitation, which put low-lying and mountainous areas at a higher risk.
PAGASA explains flood as an abnormal progressive rise in the water level of a stream that may result in the overflowing, or the coverage by water in areas that are not usually submerged. Flood occurrence usually takes time, but in hilly and mountainous terrains where there is a steep slope of the river, floods can develop much faster.

Since floods are primarily a natural phenomenon, they are usually the result of meteorological events, such as intense and prolonged rainfall, overflowing of rivers and lakes, and unusual high coastal waters due to storm surges or high tides. Indirectly, seismic activities could also cause floods due to tsunamis. Ground-shaking may also reduce the elevation of land, making these areas flood-prone.

To guide the public for their preparedness and safety, PAGASA sets the following FLOOD SAFETY RULES:

BEFORE
• Find out how often your location is likely to be flooded.
• Know the flood warning system in your community and be sure your family knows it.
• Be informed of daily weather conditions.
• Designate an evacuation area for the family and livestock.
• Assign responsibilities to family members according to an evacuation plan.
• Stock food, which requires little cooking and refrigeration. Remember that electric power may be interrupted.
• Keep a transistorized radio and flashlight with spare batteries, emergency cooking equipment, candies, matches and first aid kit handy in case of emergency.
• Store supplies and other household effects above expected flood water level.
• Securely anchor weak dwellings and items.

WHEN WARNED OF FLOOD
• Watch for rapidly rising flood waters.
• Listen to the radio for emergency instructions.
• If you find it necessary to evacuate, move to a safe area before access is cut off by flood waters.
• Store drinking water in containers; water service may be interrupted.
• Move household belongings to upper levels.
• Get livestock to higher ground.
• Turn off electricity at the main switch in the building before evacuating. Remember to lock your house.

DURING
• Avoid areas subject to sudden flooding.
• Do not attempt to cross rivers of flowing streams where water is above the knees.
• Beware of water-covered roads and bridges.
• Avoid unnecessary exposure to the elements.
• Do not go swimming or boating in swollen rivers.
• Eat only well-cooked food. Protect leftovers against contamination.
• Drink clean or preferably boiled water ONLY.
Photo by: Melvin Magyaya
Photo by: Melvin Magyaya


AFTER
• Re-enter the dwellings with caution using flashlights, not lanterns or torches that are fire hazards.
• Be aware of fire hazards like broken wires.
• Do not eat food and drink water until they have been checked for flood water contamination.
• Report broken utility lines (electricity, water, gas and telephone) to appropriate agencies authorities.
• Do not turn on the main switch, or use appliances and other equipment until they have been checked by a competent electrician.
• Consult health authorities for immunization requirements.
• Do not go into disaster areas. Your presence might hamper rescue and other emergency operations.

Photo by: Allan Benitez
Photo by: Allan Benitez


MITIGATION TIPS
• Regulate cutting of trees.
• Report illegal loggers and “kaingeros.”
• Report illegal construction of fishponds and other establishments in waterways.
• Do not throw garbage in “esteros” and rivers.
• Help clean the environment.
• Support community activities intended to lessen the occurrence of floods.
• Avoid throwing trash, especially plastic wrappers, which may clog or block the drainage system.

Sources:
PAGASA-DOST
NDRRMC
WMO

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Most parts of Luzon will experience rain showers due to sthe outhwest monsoon (habagat).
Pangasinan, Zambales and Bataan will have monsoon rains usually characterized by moderate to heavy rain showers.

Occasional rains will be experienced in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon. Visayas and Mindanao will have good weather conditions; however, isolated thunderstorms are still possible, PAGASA said.

Today, the southwest monsoon remains to be the dominant weather system as Typhoon Goni (Ineng) moves farther from Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). Know more about this weather system through this link. Understanding “HABAGAT”

Due to the rainy weather, common illnesses, such as cough and colds may occur.

Although sneezing in the morning is usually a symptom of the common cold, the inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane can be caused by, not only a virus, but also an allergic reaction. If the latter is the case, then allergic rhinitis may be the culprit.

Colds’ and Allergic Rhinitis’ symptoms are the following:

There’s another kind of rhinitis called non-allergic rhinitis that also involves chronic sneezing and having a congested, drippy nose for no apparent cause. The symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis are similar to those of hay fever or allergic rhinitis, and can be triggered by chlorine, cigarette smoke, cleaning solutions, glues, hair spray, latex, even perfume with loud scent.

According to some sources, agents that trigger rhinitis symptoms range from food and beverages, to weather and hormonal changes. To diagnose rhinitis, one may need to undergo a skin test or blood test. Necessary medication may also help, such as antihistamines, decongestants and nasal corticosteroid sprays that might help control the allergic reaction.

When you ignore or do not medicate allergic rhinitis, everything can be affected–from your job to your personal life. It can cause you to lose focus in your daily activities, preventing you to live up to your full potential. Allergic Rhinitis usually lasts longer than colds, causing discomfort for a lengthy period of time. That is why its early diagnosis and treatment is important.

Reference(s):

http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/common-cold-or-allergy-symptoms
http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/allergic-rhinitis

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At 12 midnight, Typhoon Ineng left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). However, it will still enhance the southwest monsoon, locally known as habagat.

Habagat will bring monsoon rains in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon. Light to moderate rains will be experienced in the western section of Visayas, while the rest of the country will have fair weather apart from isolated rains and thunderstorms.

#walangpasok | August 24, 2015

Due to Typhoon Ineng, classes are suspended in all levels in the following areas:

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Typhoon Ineng Track


At 17 kph, Ineng accelerates, moving in the north-northeast direction. It was last located at 295 kms. northeast of Basco, Batanes, while maintaining its 140 kph maximum sustained winds and gustiness of 170 kph.

PAGASA says that typhoon Ineng is expected to exit Philippine boundary tonight or tomorrow morning.

Public Storm Warning Signals are now raised in the following:

PUBLIC STORM WARNING 2 No BG



• Light to Moderate damage to high risk structures;
• Very light to light damage to medium-risk structures;
• No damage to very light damage to low risk structures

PUBLIC STORM WARNING 1 No BG



• Very light or no damage to low risk structures,
• Light damage to medium to high risk structures
• Slight damage to some houses of very light materials or makeshift structures in exposed communities. Some banana plants are tilted, a few downed and leaves are generally damaged.

Meanwhile, stormy weather with rough to very rough seas will prevail over the Batanes group of islands. Calayan and the Babuyan group of islands will experience rains with gusty winds.

An enhanced southwest monsoon will bring moderate to heavy rains, which may trigger flashfloods and landslides in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

The western and central section of Visayas will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers, while eastern Visayas and Mindanao will have an improved weather conditions.