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Senator says geohazard maps too technical


10:37 PM January 10th, 2013

January 10th, 2013 10:37 PM

DAVAO CITY—Geohazard maps produced by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) are not effective tools to warn people against pending disasters simply because they are too technical and not understood by common people, a senator said here.

Sen. Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate climate change committee, said a classic example of the ineffectiveness of the maps is the marking of Barangay Andap in New Bataan, a town where dozens were killed at the height of Typhoon “Pablo,” as a danger zone in the MGB website.

But Legarda said very few have had access to the website maps, “and if they did, they could not have easily understood its technical language.”

Legarda said residents in villages as remote as Barangay Andap would not have any idea about the existence of such maps so the government has to exert more effort to make it available to them and in a language easy to understand.

Legarda, a former TV host, said there was apparent “communications breakdown” with the death toll caused by Pablo.

But she insisted that if the geohazard maps had been easily available and understood by ordinary people, these would have helped save lives.

“You can’t expect the barangay captain of Andap to see it (the geohazard map) or upload it, can you? Because in the age of technology, not everyone is hi-tech,” she said. Germelina Lacorte, Inquirer Mindanao

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