Press Release

PAGASA debunks claim of Dr. Lagmay

16 January 2019

Press Release
15 January 2019

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) has debunked the claim of Dr. Mahar Lagmay, UP NOAH Executive Director, that the agency allegedly issued "wrong forecasts and late warnings" during the passage of Tropical Depression Usman.

Dr. Lagmay alleged in his Facebook Account post the wrong forecasts on TD Usman has caused a number of deaths due to landslides and floods particularly in the Bicol Region. He said that PAGASA issued a moderate to heavy rainfall forecast in Bicol on December 28 and 29 2018 instead of intense and torrential rainfall.

On this, PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano countered such claim and clarified that the agency defines moderate to heavy rainfall in its Severe Weather Bulletins (SWBs) as 24-hour daily accumulated rainfall of 60 to 180 mm and more than 180, respectively. In this premise, the December 28 to 29 PAGASA forecasters had sufficiently warned that the 24-hour accumulated rainfall of moderate to heavy would trigger massive flooding and landslides.

Moreover, Dr. Malano emphasized that PAGASA provides localized rainfall and thunderstorm warning in near-real time through its PAGASA Regional Services Division (PRSD). In the case of TD "USMAN," the Southern Luzon PRSD based in Legazpi City issued a separate color-coded Heavy Rainfall Warnings as supplemental to the HRWs stressed that there was an immediate threat of floods and landslides indicative of emergency actions.

He also explained that although PAGASA downgraded TD Usman into a Low Pressure Area (LPA) upon landfall, PAGASA Central Office and the SLPRSD reiterated their warnings of flooding and landslides as moderate to heavy rainfall would still persist.

Dr. Malano appealed to some concerned sectors to be more careful in the issuance of sweeping statements that may damage the credibility of PAGASA as a warning agency.

"The men and women of PAGASA remain fully committed to their mission of providing reliable and accurate weather-related information," he said.

For more information and clarification, please contact:

(02) 929-4865

Public Information Unit
(02) 434-2696, (02) 9279308

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