PAGASA to use plain language in weather reports

By Jon Carlos Rodriguez,

Posted at Aug 02 2012 10:48 PM | Updated as of Aug 03 2012 06:51 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The state weather bureau on Thursday said it will act on the President’s statement that the agency should make its weather bulletins more understandable to the layman.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Administrator Dr. Nathaniel Servando said they are now looking at “simplifying” the weather updates.

Servando said the agency will begin revising its cyclone advisories, starting with avoiding the use of unnecessary technical terms.

“For our part we use the standard technical terms, we have to simplify to be easier to understand by people,” Servando told ANC’s “The World Tonight.”

Servando said the agency will present its advisories, particularly on the amount of rainfall per hour, in such a way that it is “interpreted easily by the common people.”

He also said the rainfall warning system implemented over Metro Manila will be revised to not only inform residents of the amount of rainfall but emphasize possible effects.

In layman's terms

President Benigno Aquino III called on the weather bureau on Thursday to translate in layman's terms the dangers that certain weather conditions bring to help the public react sooner.

"Medyo gusto kong pagandahin 'yung sa DOST (Department of Science and Technology) kasi binanggit na nga natin sa kanila nagkaroon tayo dati ng isang bagyo na 'pag storm signal maliwanag sa tao kung ano talaga ang panganib," he said.

"Pero pagdating doon sa ulan, hindi ganoon kaliwanag na 'pag sinabing heavy, moderate or light na rainfall, ano ba actually ang epekto nito? So kailangan ma-develop better 'yung kanilang communication skills nang maipaliwanag sa tao," Aquino told reporters on Thursday.

"Katulad ng nangyari 'nung isang araw, seven to 10 millimeters of rain-7.5 millimeters raw kasi is considered heavy-pero marami nang ulan ang bumuhos bago 'non. 'Pag high tide, ano epekto? 'Pag 'yung tinatawag na may surge, paano ba ito ini-enhance 'nung low pressure area at saka itong typhoon 'yung monsoon na dinadala ng ulan sa atin talaga?" he added.

26 dead

Aquino’s statements came after the onslaught of typhoon “Gener,” which has left at least 26 people dead.

The typhoon, which was later downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved away from the country, caused massive flooding which affected nearly 200,000 persons.

PAGASA said a dozen more storms are expected to hit the country this year.