Philippines battles rainstorms and water shortages


Parts of the northern Philippines were battered by rains from tropical storm Mujigae Friday, but still faced shortages in supplies of drinking water, authorities said.

The storm brought moderate to heavy rains in central and northern parts of the main island of Luzon, the weather bureau said. All schools were closed in the capital Manila and in the four provinces affected by the storm.

Mujigae made landfall in eastern Aurora province late Thursday, with strong winds toppling electric posts and causing power outages across the province.

The rains would probably not be sufficient to end water restrictions in parts of the Philippine capital and the surrounding area, where water provision has been cut off at certain times of day since last month, weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said.

The weather bureau, Pagasa, has warned that El Nino conditions will affect the country in the latter part of 2015 and into next year, and could bring a dry spell longer than the one caused by the El Nino in 1997 to 1998.