CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, October 22 (PIA) – Through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) project, local government here attained zero casualties during typhoon Pablo on December 2012.
DOST-DREAM, under Project (NOAH) Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards is response to the call of President Benigno S. Aquino III for a more accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system, especially in high-risk areas throughout the Philippines.
Particularly, it uses state-of-the-art Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology to generate 3D flood maps to detect flood hazards in the country.
Through an interview with Dr. Enrico C. Paringit, Program Leader of the University of the Philippines’ (UP) Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) program, the national government through the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) has allotted P1.6B to generate 3D flood maps and hazard maps in 18 river systems that are flood prone in the country.
Further, he said that they have already completed the 3D and hazard map of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Iponan and Mandulog River which can be found in the website noah.dost.gov.ph. Meanwhile 3D mapping is done with Tagoloan and Agus River in Northern Mindanao.
He emphasized that this is an important tool including those installed Automated Rain Gauges (ARGs) and Water Level Sensors as early warning systems to advise Disaster Management of local government when flooding will occur.
In a radio guesting for Philippine Information Agency’s radio program, “Lambo Dyes” at DXIM Radyo ng Bayan on October 11, Cagayan de Oro Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) chief, Col. Mario Verner S. Monsanto said that through the early warning systems of DOST and close coordination with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) there was zero casualty during typhoon Pablo.
As of October 2013, monitoring stations are installed in the City which includes rain gauges in Baungon, Libona, Talakag and Kinawe, Bukidnon. Water level sensors are also mounted at Kauswagan, Pelaez, Cabula, Golden Mile, San Simon and Bubunawan bridges, said Monsanto.
These equipment and their constant monitoring of the weather disturbances through DOST’s Project NOAH enable them to warn the people especially those who live near the riverbanks of a forthcoming disaster, he added.
“Epektibo jud ang early warning system nga gimugna sa City Hall. Pinaagi sa Oro Alert, na-inform dayon diretso si Kapitan Roa kung kailangan na ipabakwit ang mga tao. Si Kap na dayon ang ga-send ug message sa mga barangay leaders para diretso mang lihok ang mga tao. Busa sa kadtong niaging bagyong Pablo, wala gyu’y naapektuhan,” Alma Abrio, Barangay Consolacion worker, said.
(The early warning system initiated by the City Hall is really effective. Through the Oro Alert (messages sent by the LGU to barangay secretaries), Barangay Captain Roa was informed immediately that the people should evacuate the area. This is the reason why when typhoon Pablo occurred, nobody was indeed affected.)
Consolacion is one of the barangays in Cagayan de Oro City which was severely affected by typhoon Sendong since it is located near the Cagayan de Oro River.
Monsanto said that they will intensify the advocacy on risk reduction focusing on barangays and they will also strengthen their ties with the non-government organizations. They will also work on giving special attention to persons living with disability making sure that they will be prioritized during calamities. (RTP/JMOR/PIA10)