April 25, 2019
The state weather bureau said 41 provinces had been hit by drought this month even if the El Niño had weakened.
In its latest report, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the 41 provinces representing 49 percent of the country had experienced drought based on data gathered until April 21.
This was a significant increase from March, which recorded only 17 provinces reeling from drought.
In Luzon, 22 provinces were declared under drought — Abra, Benguet, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Bataan, Metro Manila, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate and Sorsogon.
The 11 provinces experiencing drought in the Visayas are Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar and Western Samar.
In Mindanao, the eight areas under drought are Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Misamis Occidental, Davao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.
Meanwhile, Pagasa declared 23 areas under the dry spell: Three in Luzon, five in Visayas and 15 in Mindanao.
These were Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Negros Oriental, Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor, Southern Leyte, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Davao
Occidental, North Cotabato, South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Basilan.
Pagasa senior climate specialist Rusy Abastillas said the intensified effects of the El Niño were caused by the continuous below-normal rainfall conditions.
A province is classified under drought if it has experienced three consecutive months of way below- normal or five consecutive months of below-normal rainfall.
A dry spell is declared if a province has experienced three consecutive months of below-normal or two consecutive months of way below-normal rainfall.
Abastillas said Pagasa expected fewer provinces to experience drought in May, as more rains were expected to come in.
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