'Auring' may trigger flooding, landslide in southern Luzon

By Catherine Teves

February 19, 2021, 3:59 pm

MANILA – Regions V (Bicol) and IV-B (Mimaropa) in southern Luzon are facing risk for possible flooding and rain-induced landslides.

Rain from the northeast monsoon or "amihan" and the approaching severe tropical storm Auring (international name 'Dujuan') will raise such risk in these areas, noted Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) hydrologist Edgar dela Cruz.

"If amihan combines with 'Auring,' there'll be higher chance for more rainfall that will increase the possibility for flooding and landslides," he said.

He said Bicol and Mimaropa have been receiving light rains but will likely be wetter when "Auring" affects these areas amidst the amihan, he noted.

"Communities there must prepare for that," he said.

PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez is also not discounting the possibility of amihan and "Auring" affecting southern Luzon this weekend.

The combined effects of both weather systems can bring moderate with at times heavy rainfall, he said.

"Auring" was spotted 535 km east-southeast of Surigao del Sur province's Hinatuan municipality as of 10 a.m. Friday and packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near its center aside from gustiness of up to 115 kph, PAGASA said then in its 11 a.m. severe weather bulletin.

PAGASA said the storm may generally move northwestwards while traversing Region XIII (Caraga), the Visayas and Mimaropa this Sunday (Feb. 21) and Monday (Feb. 22).

Light to moderate with at times heavy rain is possible this weekend over Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate provinces in Bicol as well as parts of the Visayas and Mindanao, PAGASA said.

Scattered to widespread flooding -- including flash floods -- and rain-induced landslides may strike during heavy and prolonged rainfall particularly in areas that are either highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards, noted PAGASA.

"Adjacent or nearby areas may also experience flooding in the absence of such rainfall occurrence due to surface runoff or swelling of river channels," it added.

PAGASA expects "Auring" to make a landfall in Caraga on Sunday but does not anticipate this weather system's intensification into a typhoon soon.

"Auring" will likely weaken while crossing the country, PAGASA said. (PNA