This year’s typhoon season got off to a bad start for the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) as its warning that “Basyang” would directly hit Metro Manila might have come too late.
So glaring was the inaccuracy that even President Benigno Aquino III told officials of the agency that he did not want to see a repeat of their error on “Basyang” during a meeting of the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) meeting early Wednesday morning.
During its 11 a.m. press conference Wednesday, PAGASA Administrator Prisco Nilo admitted that the numerical weather prediction models used by the agency were insufficient in predicting the path of “Basyang” across Luzon accurately.
In its update Tuesday, the agency said “Basyang” would hit Central Luzon directly and that the possibility that the center would pass over if not close to Metro Manila was small. But in the 11 p.m. Tuesday weather update, PAGASA raised the storm signal warning over Metro Manila to number 2, which meant winds would reach 61 to 100 kilometers per hour.
“Basyang” hit Metro Manila slightly after midnight of Tuesday or in the first hour of Wednesday with a lead-time of only two to three hours between the warning and the arrival of the storm.