Noynoy Aquino reprimands PAGASA at emergency briefing

President Noynoy Aquino reprimanded the "red-faced officials" of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) at the emergency briefing on July 14 for failing to predict that Typhoon Basyang would batter Metro Manila, reports The weather bureau’s report on July 13 said Typhoon Basyang would only hit Northern and Central Luzon.

"This is not acceptable... You do what you are supposed to do," Aquino said. "All the agencies have adequately met their responsibilities at this point in time but your information is sorely lacking. We have had this problem for quite a long time," quoted him as saying.

On July 13, PAGASA placed Metro Manila under Storm Signal No. 1, with 30 to 60 kilometers-per-hour winds. The weather bureau did not mention that Metro Manila would experience strong winds due to Typhoon Basyang’s wide radius of 300 kilometers, according to

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Most of Manila suffered blackouts starting at around midnight. Uprooted trees, electric posts and makeshift roofs, among others, blocked several roads.

In the report, PAGASA Chief Prisco Nilo said, "We update the bulletin every six hours to take into account possible changes that were not earlier indicated by the mathematical models we are using as guidance in coming up with our forecast."

PAGASA was under fire in September 2009 for failing to warn Metro Manila residents about the gravity of Tropical Storm Ondoy that dumped a month’s worth of rainfall in six hours.

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