Philippine gov’t launches program to mitigate La Nina effect

The Philippine government is implementing a comprehensive program to lessen the impact of La Nina, a senior government official said Wednesday.

The program is part of the government’s overall strategy on climate change resiliency, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.

“(The) government is implementing a comprehensive program on mitigating the harmful effect of the possible onset of La Nina scenario,” he said, noting that this covers agriculture, flood control and disaster risk reduction measures at the grassroots level.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the state weather forecasting agency, has warned the public of the possibility of a La Nina event occurring later this year, after El Nino ends.

La Nina, the opposite of El Nino, is characterized by above normal rainfall, strong monsoon activity, and the formation of more tropical cyclones.

According to PAGASA, a strong El Nino is usually followed by an equally strong La Nina. Although El Nino is waning, PAGASA said it would continue to cause below normal rainfall and warmer air temperatures in the country in the next several months.

From 1997 to 1998, the country experienced a strong El Nino, which was followed by a La Nina in 1999 when many parts of the country experienced intense rainfall and flooding. (Xinhua)