NDRRMC: Up to 46 provinces could be affected as El Niño worsens

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 25) — Many parts of the country may experience the impact of El Niño as it worsens in the coming months, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Tuesday.

“If it will happen, the worsening will affect at least 11 provinces by August and then by October it will become 46,” NDRRMC Executive Director Ariel Nepomuceno told CNN Philippines.

Ilocos Norte, Bataan, and Cavite could be hit hardest, he added.

On Monday, the NDRRMC announced that a team was formed that will address the impact of El Niño. It will be led by the Department of the Interior and Local Government, with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Energy, Department of Health, Department of Science and Technology, Office of Civil Defense, National Economic and Development Authority, National Irrigation Administration, and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System as members.

Nepomuceno said the country is already experiencing the initial effect of the El Niño phenomenon.

It is projected to worsen October to December this year or January to March 2024, he noted.

“More provinces will be affected by that time and the amount of rainfall will be below the normal volume that we used to have so that will entail a lot of negative consequences for the economy, health, agriculture,” he added.

Nepomuceno also said the team will hold another meeting to identify the specific task of each member and to set short-term and long-term programs.

Based on its latest five-day projection, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said the heat index in a number of areas will breach 40°C in the coming days.

The highest will be 48°C in Butuan on April 29.

Heat index ranging from 42°C to 51°C is classified as “danger,” meaning a person may experience heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke is also possible with continued exposure.