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Philippines dam’s drought emerges the 300-year-old town

Philippines dam’s drought emerges the 300-year-old town

Philippines dam’s drought emerges the 300-year-old town

Philippines dam’s drought emerges the 300-year-old town

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  • Pantabangan town, a 300-year-old town, has resurfaced due to severe temperatures in the Philippines.
  • The town was submerged in the 1970s, but only emerged from water on rare occasions during dry and hot weather.
  • The re-emergence of the ruins has attracted tourists to the town.
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Severe temperatures in the Philippines have caused the ruins of an almost 300-year-old town to resurface, as a major dam partially dried up. The construction of a reservoir submerged Pantabangan town in the 1970s, but it emerged from the water on extremely rare occasions when the weather was dry and hot.

Almost half the country is experiencing a drought, with temperatures reaching highs in several areas.

Marlon Paladin, an engineer with the state agency that operates the country’s dams, told the news agency that this is the longest the town has ever been above water since the dam was constructed.

The extreme heat has disrupted the daily lives of millions as schools shut for days and office workers receive advisories to work from home.

According to Benison Estareja, a meteorologist at the state-run weather bureau Pagasa, it could still get marginally hotter in the coming days, as reported by the News.

“The general impact of climate change on the Philippines is warmer temperatures. The heat that we are experiencing could steadily increase in the coming days,” Mr Estareja said.

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El Niño, or the unusual warming of surface waters in the Pacific Ocean, exacerbates the Philippines’ warm and dry season. The entire east coast of the archipelago nation faces the Pacific.

The effects of climate change pose significant risks to the South East Asian nation, making it one of the most at-risk countries in the world. Its wet season has the potential to unleash monster storms, such as Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which ranks among the most powerful in history.

“We are seeing that our dam levels will drop, including in Pantabangan and other areas,” Mr Estareja said.

Based on official data, the water level there has dropped by nearly 50m from its normal high level of 221m. Mr. Paladin informed AFP that the ruins began to resurface in March due to the area receiving almost no rain. The re-emergence of the ruins has attracted tourists to the town, located some 202km (125 miles) north of the capital, Manila.

In addition to the Philippines, class suspensions enforced in Bangladesh have affected 33 million students.

The health ministry in Thailand reported that 30 people have died of heatstroke between January and April 17 this year, compared with 37 in the whole of 2023. Across the border in Myanmar, temperatures have soared above 45C.

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