Microburst storm startles Pangasinan residents

Published July 19, 2020, 12:32 PM

by Liezle Basa Iñigo

DAGUPAN CITY – Residents in different towns of Pangasinan were caught by surprise when an intense microburst toppled trees and power poles, and damaged other structures Saturday evening.

Muyyhen Salvoro via Liezle Inigo/ MANILA BULLETIN

Facebook was filled with posts recounting the experience of residents who contended with terrifying claps of thunder, and heavy rains.

Residents experienced hail and heavy rains in the towns of Mapandan, Mangaldan, and Sta Barbara, among others.

“It’s the load of the hail and heavy rain that drags the air downward, punching toward the ground like a fist,” a resident of Sta. Barbara told Manila Bulletin.

And it was exactly at 6:18 p.m. that many experienced those “small explosions” emanating from the ground.

“Natumba ang aming puno at nawalan na rin kami ng kuryente magdamag,” a resident of Binmaley and Lingayen said.

Provincial capitol employee Muyyhen Salvoro was able to capture the scary thunderstorm along Lingayen-Binmaley baywalk on photo, and posted this on FB.

Meanwhile, Pangasinan PDRRMO explained on its FB page what a microburst is.

“Ang isang microburst ay isang downdraft, o paglubog ng hangin na bumababa sa lupa na nagreresulta sa isang marahas na pagsabog ng hangin sa lupa. Ito ay may taglay na hangin na umaabot sa 100 mph na katulad sa ilang mga buhawi, bagaman ang mga microburst ay hindi gaanong kinikilala bilang isang buhawi,” it said.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Senior Weather Specialist Chris Perez said what was shown in Salvoro’s photo was a supercell, and was a thunderstorm characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone, or a deep, persistently rotating updraft.

“Lahat yan matinding ulan na may kasamang yelo, bugso ng hangin, tornado at kidlat at kulog),” he said.

And in such instances, Perez said residents should stay indoors, avoid staying in high grounds, or under trees.

“Avoid bodies of water, and electrical appliances as lightning may strike these conductors of electricity, and always monitor for thunderstorms,” he said.