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DOST wind tunnel to simulate storms


10:21 PM December 15th, 2012

December 15th, 2012 10:21 PM

Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Saying it would help prevent a repeat of the destruction wrought by Typhoon “Pablo,” the Department of Science and Technology on Saturday unveiled plans to build a tunnel that would test the resiliency of structures to varying wind speeds.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that subjecting structures to the wind tunnel could help authorities determine which materials could withstand winds moving at 175 kilometers per hour, 200 kph and 250 kph, among other speeds.

This information, Montejo said, would help reduce the number of casualties and damage to property when storms hit the country.

“When someone says the wind is moving at 175 kph, people can’t relate to that. They’re just not sure if their buildings can withstand that,” Montejo said.

According to Montejo, by subjecting actual structures to varying wind speeds in the tunnel, structural engineers can also determine the manner by which buildings should be constructed.

Although still in the planning stage, Montejo said the wind tunnel would be built either near the Philippine Atmospheric Geological and Astronomical Administration (Pagasa) or the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, or near DOST headquarters in Taguig City.

He said the budget for construction of the tunnel, which he estimated would amount to “tens of millions,” would come from funds approved by the Department of Budget and Management for the agency’s research and development programs.

He said he was targeting the completion of the tunnel by next year.

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