Zubiri wants to upgrade reporting of weather conditions

July 14, 2010 10:06 pm 

MANILA, July 14 -– Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said on Wednesday that he would re-file a bill which would require the government’s weather bureau to come out with an hourly report on weather conditions whenever typhoons enter the country’s area of responsibility.

”This would give the people more updated weather conditions every time bad weather hits the country,” Zubiri said.

In 2008, Zubiri filed the bill calling for an hourly report on weather conditions with the help of media entities but it failed to become law during the last 14th Congress.

Zubiri made the proposal to re-file the bill in the 15th Congress following the late announcement of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) that typhoon “Basyang” would directly hit Metro Manila.

The inaccuracy was so obvious that even President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino has reportedly scolded the PAGASA officials, telling them that he does not want to see a repeat of the error.

On radio reports, President Aquino received the PAGASA’s 5:00 p.m. updated report on typhoon ‘Basyang’ at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday while Metro Manila and nearby provinces were still under typhoon signal No. 1.

PAGASA raised the storm signal warning over Metro Manila to number 2 in its next weather bulletin at 11 p.m., over an hour before Basyang hit Metro Manila and nearby provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Bataan and Rizal.

PAGASA Administrator Prisco Nilo blamed the fiasco on insufficient numerical weather prediction models.

Basyang with maximum gusts 120 kilometers per hour reportedly left 20 people dead and damage to properties and agriculture, causing long hours of power outage throughout Luzon area.

Due to long power outage, schools and some government institutions, including the Senate, called for cancellation of work.(PNA) LOR/jfm

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