By Rodrigo S. Victoria
NAVAL, Biliran, Apr. 15 (PIA) -- The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) report on the sectoral impacts of El Niño was presented recently during the emergency meeting of the Biliran Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC).
The El Niño phenomenon is expected to bring impacts or effects on the areas of agriculture, water resources, marine resources, human health and environment.
Sofrono Dacillo, Jr., Biliran PDRRMO, said the impacts of El Nino on agriculture include decline in soil moisture availability; decline in crop production due to delayed onset of the rainy season; and the increase in pests and plant diseases.
Dacillo continued that water resources are heavily affected by El Nino as it reduced streamflows and groundwater due to less rainfall; reduced water supply and quality which may affect dams, irrigation and power generation; over extraction of groundwater; and less rainfall will have a negative impact on forest resources.
He also said that El Nino affects marine resources as it contributed to fish kills, occurrence of red tide, and the decline in fish production.
“Human health is also affected by El Nino,” Dacillo emphasized, adding that this is due to less water for hygiene and sanitation; higher cost of drinking water due to reduced supply; increased incidence of pulmonary diseases due to poorer air quality caused by forest fires and haze; increase in tropical diseases such as malaria, dengue and skin diseases due to drier conditions and/or warmer air temperature; and increase in food-borne diseases such as salmonellosis due to higher temperature.
The province’s DRRM officer added that another impact of El Niño is on the environment which include degradation of land or soil due to loss of vegetation; increase in forest or peatland fires; and poor air quality due to the occurrence of smoke, haze and forest fires.
Dacillo informed that the emergency meeting was a reportorial assessment from member-agencies and to come up with possible actions to address if the weather condition is seen to affect the agriculture and water supply in the province.
He said another meeting will be held in the month of May to assess the impacts of the weather condition and to come up with appropriate response due to the effects of the drought. (LDL/RSV/PIA-8, Biliran)