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Weather terminology translation guide's launch nears

By Catherine J. Teves

MANILA, Aug. 27 (PNA) — The government is about to conclude the maiden work on translating weather terminology it uses and anticipates soon commencing this undertaking's second phase.

"We'll be formally launching the translation guide's first edition either next month or two months from now," Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) translation chief Dr. Benjamin Mendillo said this week.

KWF is the agency that translated the terminology the State weather agency Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) uses.

Both agencies agreed collaborating on the work to help people better understand weather conditions PAGASA expects in the country.

"Better understanding will help people prepare for what can happen," Mendillo said.

He noted such preparation is key to protecting life, limb and property.

Translating weather terminology is among government's measures for building up nationwide resilience to tropical cyclones and other natural hazards.

Authorities consider such resilience-building essential, noting the Philippines is among countries most at risk for climate change's impacts.

They warned such impacts are sea level and temperature rise as well as increasing onslaught of extreme weather events.

To help promote further understanding of weather terminology, Mendillo said KWF earlier mapped out plans to commence work on the weather terminology translation guide's second edition.

"We expect to have contents of that second edition early next year," he said.

Mendillo noted KWF and PAGASA already achieved a breakthrough in translating weather terminology.

He said the translation will enable people to visualize weather conditions that PAGASA forecast.

Visualization will help people brace for such conditionsaccordingly, he noted.

Concern over PAGASA's weather terminology resurfaced in late 2013 after over 6,000 people died from the onslaught of typhoon 'Yolanda' (international name 'Haiyan') across Central Philippines in November that year.

Experts identified 'Yolanda' as among the strongest tropical cyclones to make landfall in the world's recorded history, destroying nearly everything in its path.

Even before the onslaught of 'Yolanda,' PAGASA already warned about possible occurrence of deadly and destructive storm surges due to this typhoon.

'Yolanda' victims noted their inadequate awareness andunderstanding of the term 'storm surge' left them unable to prepare for this threat and was among the causes of death and destruction from the typhoon's onslaught, however.

Storm surge is "an abnormal rise of water due to a tropical cyclone and it is an oceanic event responding to meteorological driving forces – potentially disastrous surges occur along coasts with low-lying terrain that allows inland inundation or across inland water bodies such as bays, estuaries, lakes and rivers," PAGASA said.

"For a typical storm, the surge affects about 160 kilometers of coastline for a period of several hours while larger storms that are moving slowly may impact considerably longer stretches of coastline," added PAGASA.(PNA)


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