DOST strengthens weather monitoring system in calamity-prone province | Inquirer News

DOST strengthens weather monitoring system in calamity-prone province

/ 08:23 AM January 07, 2012

THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) strengthened the country’s weather monitoring system in response to the increasing number of typhoons visiting the country each year.

“Before the year 2000, the Philippines would be visited by powerful typhoons every three to five years. Now, we experience devastating typhoons every year,” said Rowen Gelonga, DOST 6 regional director, citing the recent storm Sendong that killed more than a thousand people in northern Mindanao.

“And most of the lives lost during these typhoons are not because of strong winds or storm surges. It’s because of the flooding,” he added.


This is what propelled DOST, together with Smart Communications Inc., to complete the installation of five Automatic Rain Gauges (ARGs) in key places in the province – Alimodian, Cabatuan, Maasin, Pavia and Jaro in Iloilo City. The new installations will complement the other ARGs installed by DOST across the region.


Gelonga said Smart also pledged to help fund the installation of automatic water level sensors that will alert the communities once the river reaches critical level.

The ARGs track rain water volume and rainfall duration. The equipment transmits rainfall data for further analysis, every 15 minutes, using Smart SIM card. This speeds up the previous process of manually gauging rainfall through a measuring stick and sending the data at least once every 24 hours.

“With the ARGs in consortium with other equipment plus the water level sensors that we are installing all over the region, the local government units will be more prepared for adverse weather events,” said Gelonga.

“The ARGs in Iloilo are just some of the rain gauges we have installed in several high-risk areas all over the country,” said Smart Public Affairs head Ramon Isberto.

Mayor Juanito Alipao of Alimodian, one of the municipalities that received an ARG, said “the rain gauge is a guide for us, and it will help us keep our communities alert to possible calamities brought about by heavy rains and typhoons.”

Iloilo is one of the calamity-prone provinces in the country. In 2008, it was hit by typhoon Frank that caused mudslides and flooding in Iloilo City and other municipalities, displacing thousands of families.

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