BAGUIO CITY, July 16 (PIA) – – Unpredicted weather patterns brought about by climate change is a concern as it leave irreversible damage to life and properties which is why governments around the world are focusing a large part of their resources to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
In the Philippines, strong typhoons with heavy rains and flooding during the monsoon season and such natural phenomenon have claimed many lives and damaged millions of properties including the means of livelihood of the people.
In a serious effort to address such concern, the national government through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and its attached agency, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), has been embarking on the development of Hybrid Weather Monitoring System and Rain Automated Stations.
Technology plays a vital role in such concern which is why a network of automated weather stations (AWS) and automatic rain gauges (ARGs) are being deployed on strategic places across the country to complement Pagasa’s weather forecasting.
The AWS are monitoring stations equipped with different sensors capable of measuring wind speed and direction, air temperature, air humidity, air pressure and rain amount, duration and intensity.
The gauges on the other hand, gather and record the amount of rainfall over a set period of time. It send weather and rainfall data wirelessly through the cellular network as a text messages or short message system (SMS) to central database server where it will be further analyzed. Then, the processed data are accessed by local authorities and other stakeholders through the internet in real time.
For Cordillera, considered among the disaster – prone areas in the country with its mountainous and rugged terrain, DOST installed ARGs in Baguio City and one each in the six provinces of the region.
Six were installed in the Benguet particularly in the municipalities of Bokod, Buguias, Bakun, Sablan, Tuba, and Kapangan; four were installed in the Ifugao towns of Banaue, Hingyon, Asipulo, and Alfonso Lista; two in Bauko and Besao, Mountain Province; three in Sta. Marcela, Pudtol, and Conner in Apayao, and two in Tanudan and Lubuagan in Kalinga.
Seventeen more ARGs were installed in different parts of Cordillera this May and June in preparation for the rainy season. In addition, 20 more ARGs are set for installation in strategic locations in the region.
For AWS, two systems are already installed – one each in Bangued, Abra and Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Aside from the ARG and AWS, DOST is also installing Water Level Monitoring Station (WLMS) which uses ultrasonic sensor device to accurately measure and determine flood water in specific areas in real time.
Six WLMS are set for installation – one each in Manabo Bridge in Abra, Dacao Waterway in Apayao, City Camp Lagoon in Baguio City, Asin Bridge in Tuba, Benguet, Ibulao Bridge in Lagawe, Ifugao and Canao Bridge in Tabuk City in Kalinga.
All these weather monitoring equipments are linked to a central server where recorded data are further analyzed and processed data are made readily available and easily accessible to local authorities and other stakeholders through the Internet to help warn people on possible disaster.
As for earthquake, DOST, in partnership with the University of the Philippines–Diliman Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute, is also already field-testing a monitoring system in several landslide-prone areas in Benguet.
The landslide monitoring system, developed by the UP-Diliman EEEI, aims to accurately and cost-effectively monitor slopes through series of sensors that measure soil moisture and slope movements.
In the center of all of these technologies, DOST has developed Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard), the department’s response to the call of President Aquino for a more accurate, integrated, and responsive disaster prevention and mitigation system, especially in high-risk areas throughout the Philippines.
The Project harnesses technologies and management services for disaster risk reduction activities offered by the DOST through Pagasa, Phivolcs, and the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute, in partnership with the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences and the UP College of Engineering.
Project NOAH’s component includes distribution of hydro-meteorological devices in hard-hit areas in the Philippines, Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment for Mitigation – Light Detection and Ranging Project, Enhancing Geo-hazards Mapping through Lidar, Coastal Hazards and Storm Surge Assessment and Mitigation, Flood Information Network Project, Local Development of Doppler Radar Systems, Landslide Sensors Development Project, and Weather Hazard Information Project.
To access project NOAH, you just need to log on www.noah.dost.gov.ph. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)