Those Rainfall Alerts Indicate More Than How Much Rain to Expect; Here’s a Quick Guide

So you can finally understand what NDRRMC is warning you about.

ndrrmc alerts
PHOTO BY Unsplash/Bill Ringer

( Raise your hands if you've ever had an NDRRMC alert shake you right back into reality—only to have their message confuse you even more. The warnings sent by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council are meant to keep people informed but some terms might leave you puzzled as to what they really mean. Take for example the color-coded rainfall alerts

Also read: So You Want to Break Up With the NDRRMC

What do those color-coded rainfall NDRRMC alerts mean?

You can pretty much guess how bad the rain is expected to be based on the color NDRRMC uses but we'll go a little more in-depth here. There are three main colors that are used to signal how bad the rain will get: yellow, orange, and red. 

  • Yellow Rainfall Alert - Heavy rainfall, or 7.5 to 15 millimeters-worth per hour, has fallen or will fall, and is expected to continue for the next three hours. At this point, PAGASA says Community awareness is needed as flooding is possible in low-lying areas. 
  • Orange Rainfall Alert - Intense rainfall, or around 15 to 30 millimeters worth per hour has fallen. Also applies if the rainfall for the past three hours has reached 45 to 60 millimeters and will likely continue. Community preparedness is needed as threats of flooding are more likely. 
  • Red Rainfall Alert - Torrential rainfall, or more than 30 millemeters-worth per hour has fallen. Also applies if the rainfall for the past three hours has reached more than 60 millemeters and will likely continue. Community response is needed as severe flooding is expected. 
ndrrmc alerts
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The "color-coded" alerts were launched by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in 2012 as a warning system. Back then, it used the colors yellow, green, and red. It was even launched alongside the country's first alert system for thunderstorms, too. 

The NDRRMC alerts, meanwhile, have been around since 2017, as a result of the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act of 2014. This warning system also alerts folks of nearby earthquakes and other possible disasters.

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