Monday 13 August 2018

Three dead and one missing as flash floods hit Metro Manila area of Luzon Island, the Philippines.

Three people have been confirmed dead and another one is missing follwing a series of flash floods in the  Metro Manila area of Luzon Island, the Philippines, this week. The three people who died have been identified as RJ Basuecos, 26, of Manila, Dioscoro Camacho, 36, of Marikina, and Gloria Mendoza, 61, of Quezon. The missing man is Edgar Bugaay, 50, of Quezon, who has not been seen since he was swept away by floodwaters on Sunday 12 August 2018. The incidents have been caused by heavy rains associated with the Southwest Monsoon, which lasts from May to October in The Philippines. 

Flooding in Marinka in the Metro Manila region of Luzon Island this week. Reuters.

Monsoons are tropical sea breezes triggered by heating of the land during the warmer part of the year (summer). Both the land and sea are warmed by the Sun, but the land has a lower ability to absorb heat, radiating it back so that the air above landmasses becomes significantly warmer than that over the sea, causing the air above the land to rise and drawing in water from over the sea; since this has also been warmed it carries a high evaporated water content, and brings with it heavy rainfall. In the tropical dry season the situation is reversed, as the air over the land cools more rapidly with the seasons, leading to warmer air over the sea, and thus breezes moving from the shore to the sea (where air is rising more rapidly) and a drying of the climate.

Diagrammatic representation of wind and rainfall patterns in a tropical monsoon climate. Geosciences/University of Arizona.

Much of Southeast Asia has two distinct Monsoon Seasons, with a Northeast Monsoon driven by winds from  the South China Sea that lasts from November to February and a Southwest Monsoon driven by winds from the southern Indian Ocean from March to October. Such a double Monsoon Season is common close to the equator, where the Sun is highest overhead around the equinoxes and lowest on the horizons around the solstices, making the solstices the coolest part of the year and the equinoxes the hottest.  

The winds that drive the Northeast and Southwest Monsoons in Southeast Asia. Mynewshub.

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