By D.E. Doguiles (PIA 12 with report from DOST 12)
This article was originally published by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) on November 23, 2016.
KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Nov. 23 (PIA) — Since 2012, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has deployed 86 hydro-meteorological (hydromet) devices in the SOCCSKSARGEN Region
These consist of 56 automated rain gauges (ARGs), 26 water level monitoring systems (WLMS) and 4 automated weather stations (AWS).
Of these, 18 ARGs and 7 WLMS are in North Cotabato; 12 ARGs, 6 WLMS and 1 AWS in South Cotabato; 11 ARGs, 5 WLMS and 1 AWS in Sultan Kudarat; and 14 ARGs and 8 WLMS and 1 AWS in Sarangani.
DOST 12 Regional Director Zenaida Hadji Raof-Laidan said the initiative is in accordance with government efforts to beef up real-time weather monitoring and disaster prevention. Laidan added that these hydromet devices could help communities prepare for disasters by providing them with real-time data that will serve as early warning to residents in areas considered as high-risk to flooding, landslide, storm surge and other calamities brought about by heavy rains and typhoons.
Dr. Laidan further noted that the installation of the early warning systems is part of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards program (Project NOAH), in accordance with the agency’s continuous efforts in developing solutions to pressing problems affecting general public safety and disaster risk reduction and management with a focus on mitigation and prevention.
Each station is equipped with a data logger platform GSM Data Acquisition Terminal (G-DAT), which serves as a mini-computer that controls all functions and data communications of the station. Data gathered from these devices are sent wirelessly through a cellular network as text messages and can be accessed via www.noah.dost.gov.ph.
“Our services did not end up in the deployment of these systems; instead periodic monitoring, maintenance and evaluation is undertaken to sustain good performance of the stations. The office has also completed recalibration of the early warning systems (EWS) or hydromets stationed in different areas.
She emphasized, “Part of our recalibration activities is the installation and integration of automated sirens in the systems to automatically warn the community when devastating situations come.
DOST through its service institutes, namely: the Philippine Astronomical, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) , the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHILVOLCS) and the DOST’s Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), in partnership with the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP NIGS) and the UP College of Engineering are at the helm of giving forecasts and timely weather reports while continuously processing the upgrading of equipment and installing new ones in strategic locations around the country, she said. Installation of the systems, she noted, is in coordination and with the support of the local government units (LGUs) concerned.
DOST 12 started the first phase of implementation of the Deployment of Early Warning System (DEWS) Project in 2012. During the first phase of the project in 2012, DOST 12 installed eight hydromet devices. In 2013, 51 additional weather tracking devices were installed and another 13 hydromet stations were deployed in 2015. This year, 14 additional devices were installed in the identified areas of the Region.