MANILA – Several major waterways and tributaries in Region I (Ilocos) risk overflowing due to rain from the prevailing southwest monsoon or "habagat".
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), these major waterways are Pangasinan province's Balincaguing and Alaminos; La Union province's Amburayan, Baroro, Lower Bauang, and Aringay; Ilocos Sur province's Lower Abra, Silay-Sta. Maria and Buaya, as well as Ilocos Norte province's Bulu, Banban, Bacarra-Vintar, Laoag, and Quiaoit.
"Rain from habagat can raise water level in the waterways and their tributaries and cause these channels to overflow," said PAGASA hydrologist Rosalie Pagulayan on Tuesday.
She said communities concerned must prepare for such possibilities including flooding, particularly in low-lying locations.
"There's big possibility for small tributaries to easily overflow," she said.
Habagat may affect western Luzon until around Wednesday (July 7), said PAGASA weather forecaster Joey Figuracion. He added the weather may improve beginning Thursday (July 8).
However, the easing of "habagat" won't immediately lower the risk for flooding and even rain-induced landslides in Ilocos, noted Pagulayan.
"Not all rainfall there can be captured by gauges," she said. "Some areas might experience continuous rain which the gauges may not be able to capture. Such rain can contribute to saturation there."
Saturated areas are more prone to flooding and rain-induced landslides, she said.
She reiterated communities concerned must have some means of monitoring water levels in their respective waterways.
Having such early warning systems will help communities prepare for possible overflows and flooding, she added. (PNA)