DOST to produce 3D map of flood-prone areas in Cotabato, Maguindanao (PIA)

BY: DANILO E. DOGUILES

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, July 25 (PIA) — Maguindanao province and Cotabato City are currently undergoing aerial survey for the production of a three-dimensional map that would identify flood and other natural hazard-prone areas.

Dr. Zenaida Hadji Raof-Laidan, regional director of the Department of Science and Technology 12 said the project, which uses state-of the-art Light Detection and Ranging Instruments (LiDAR), is a collaboration between DOST and the University of the Philippines.

Laidan said a Cessna plane equipped with LiDAR has been conducting aerial survey in the area since July 10; the survey will end on Saturday, July 27.

Covered by the survey are the areas of Mother and Northern Kabuntalan, Sultan Kudarat, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Sultan Mastura and Parang in Maguindanao and Cotabato City.

A ground survey that would validate the result of the LiDAR operations is set in mid August.

She added the development of 3D map is part of the agency’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), the country’s flagship program in disaster mitigation.

The 3D mapping is a component of Project NOAH’s Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) program.

DREAM aims to develop accurate and detailed flood hazard models to identify areas most at risk to flood and other natural hazards and, using flood simulations, could warn communities of impending disasters.

By employing the LiDAR technology, 3D datasets will be created to be used as basis for reliable, detailed and up-to-date flood hazard models for the country’s 18 major river basins and watersheds, and subsequently, for all flood-beleaguered areas in the country.

The “Cotabato flood lane” is the 16th area covered by the DOST’s DREAM program.

On July 9, DOST met with Cotabato City LGU officials and mayors and representatives of the municipalities included in the project.

The LGUs expressed their support for the implementation of the project, considering that the results could help them in crafting development plans.

The DREAM program , developed by Filipino scientists and engineers, is one of the most extensive 3D mapping in Southeast Asia.

Engr. Christopher Cruz, chief science specialist at DREAM, said floods are categorized according to location — riverine, coastal and urban – all of which require different modeling approaches.

While the focus of DREAM is now mainly for riverin floods or those situated in river basins, the LiDAR mapping is equally useful for the other types of floods.

He said the DREAM 3D mapping could also be useful in the areas of forest inventory, environmental monitoring, infrastructure plannng, faultline mapping, archeological surveys, agricultural assessment, and even government revenue management.

“The maps generated by DREAM will be beneficial to government agencies. After the initial mapping and flood modeling, program, LiDAR instruments can be useful in other purposes, including post disaster damage assessments,” Cruz said.

All of DREAM’s flood models will be incorporated into the Project NOAH website www.noah.dost.gov.ph and shall complement the flagship program’s advanced tools for hazard mitigation, making the four-hour early warning target for communities affected by flooding a reality, he said.

This article was originally published in the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) website on July 26, 2013

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