By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 27, 2013 – 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – Project NOAH or Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards will expand its Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation or DREAM program to come up with three-dimensional flood hazard maps covering the entire country.
Rowena Guevarra, executive director of the Department of Science and Technology’s Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development, said they expect to come up with a comprehensive and integrated flood early warning system (IFEWS) in 2016.
“DREAM has a Part 2. That is what Asec (Assistant Secretary) Raymund Liboro was referring to when he said that by 2014 to 2016, we will complete two-thirds of the Philippines because only one-third was covered in DREAM 1,” she said.
DREAM has so far scanned 17 of the targeted 18 critical river basins in the country through Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), a state-of-the-art technology that can generate high-resolution, up-to-date and 3D flood hazard maps.
The DREAM team has already produced LiDAR-based flood models for Mandulog in Iligan City, Pampanga, Davao Oriental, Marikina, Cagayan de Oro and Compostela Valley. The rest of flood models are to be completed by June 2014, the project’s original end date.
Guevarra said 30 to 50 state universities and colleges offering geodetic engineering and computer science courses will be tapped to help implement the second leg of the program.
“People think that having airplanes alone solves the problem. We need people who will process the data. Human resources are the most important part of this project because without these people, this program won’t work,” she said.
DREAM has only two aircraft carrying LiDAR instruments.
Guevarra said they aim to double their equipment, including the number of airplanes, as the second phase of the program starts this quarter, to be more efficient in data gathering.