Waterspout spotted in Catmon town in north Cebu
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The bad weather experienced in most parts of Cebu not only brought floods and landslides but also a rare weather phenomenon.
Residents in Catmon in northern Cebu woke up on Sunday morning, August 7 to a bizarre sight — a waterspout forming above the municipality’s seawaters.
One of those who saw the tornado-like cloud formation was Roxane Ares, a resident of Barangay Catmondaan in Catmon town. Ares said she spotted the waterspout at 8:47 a.m. on Sunday.
She added she was just observing the dark, gray clouds hovering above the sea when she noticed a weird, cloud formation that she likened to a funnel.
Ares was not the only one who spotted the waterspout as other residents in Catmon also took photos and videos of it, and then uploaded them on social media.
Fortunately, the waterspout was not a destructive type and eventually dissipated a few minutes later.
State meteorologists from the Mactan bureau of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa-Mactan) said the waterspout was formed due to prevailing thunderstorms in the area.
“Kinahanglan na sila (waterspouts) og thunderstorms para maporma… Kaganinang buntag, mga pasado alas 5, naa tay giissue og Thunderstorm Advisory,” explained Romeo Aguirre, weather specialist of Pagasa-Mactan.
(These (waterspouts) need thunderstorms so that they can be formed…this morning, at past 5, we issued a thunderstorm advisory.)
Waterspout is often referred to locally as ‘buhawi’.
Buhawi is also interchangeably used to describe other tornado-like weather systems, considering that meteorologists consider waterspouts, tornadoes, firestorms, and whirlwinds as ‘closely related.’
The name ‘waterspout’, however, can be quite misleading.
Pagasa defined waterspout as “a tornado-like vortex and cloud occurring over a body of water, frequently in tropical waters”.
This means that a waterspout, like the one spotted off of Catmon town, forms above water, and not the other way around.
Nevertheless, Pagasa-Mactan urged the public to regularly monitor the weather in their area, particularly those under thunderstorms and rainfall advisories.
“Magmonitor gyud ta sa atong weather condition sa mga tagsa-tagsa area especially kung ari ta namuyo sa mga peligrosong lugar… mga low-lying areas nga dali bahaon and mga mountainous areas labi na sa probinsya sa Sugbo, prone gyud ta sa landslide,” said Aguirre.
(We should monitor our weather condition in our respective areas, especially if you are living in a dangerous area…low lying areas that are not easily flooded and the mountainous areas, especially the province of Cebu, we are prone to landslides.)
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