By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has briefed some 300 local chief executives, disaster risk reduction officers, the military, police and other sectoral representatives on the current status of the Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH) in the Caraga region.
In the recently concluded three-day regional Summit on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, DOST Regional Dir. Dominga D. Mallonga, vice-chair of prevention/mitigation of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC), said the project aims to provide a six-hour lead time warning to vulnerable communities of impending floods and to produce an enhance flood maps within two years.
Since the project was started last year, she said it is expected that the enhanced flood maps will be available by December, this year.
In her 10-minute presentation, she said among the eight components under the project is the Hydrometreological Sensors Development, where the governors and mayors of localities within the Agusan River Basin were enjoined to install Automatic Rain Gauges (ARGs) and Automatic Water Level Monitoring Sensors (AWLMS).
The current concentrations of 29 ARGs and 34 AWLMS are in the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur. The other areas along the Agusan River Basin area will soon be provided with these equipment.
The other component known as the Disaster Risk Exposure and Assessment for Mitigation-Light Detection and Ranging (DREAM-LIDAR) aims to produce three-dimensional image maps for major rivers in the Philippines, including the Agusan River. The DREAM component will create stunning 3D images which are reliable, detailed and up-to date flood models of the country’s major river basins and watersheds.
She said that two airplanes were leased from UP to help get the data. The project already started in Pampanga and an aerial view of the Agusan River was already taken during the early part of this year.
Another component is the Flood NET where a center will be in place to help monitor the data on flooding.
Other components include the Hazards Information Media, Enhancing Geo-Hazards Mapping through LIDAR, Doppler System Development, Landslide Sensors development and the Storm Surge Inundation Mapping.
Mallonga also discussed the PAGASA Rainfall Warning System Color Code and the penalties for stealing, keeping or tampering with the government risk reduction and preparedness equipment, accessories and similar facilities under RA 10344. The penalties ranges from 2 to 15 years imprisonment and or fines from P200,000 to P3 million. She added that mere possession of such equipment is already a prima facie evidence for prosecution and imposition of penalties.