Weather bureau prodded on flood warning system
After storms “Pedring” and “Quiel” last month spawned weeks of devastating floods in Central Luzon, disaster response professionals have been asking the weather bureau to better predict how much rainfall would warrant a flood alarm in a certain area.
In response to this, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) is undertaking a research with Taiwan’s Typhoon and Flood Research Institute to develop a model that would allow flood-risk mapping based on an analysis of rainfall.
“If you have an amount of rainfall, what’s the possibility of a flooding, and what are the areas to be hit by flooding,” Pagasa Supervising Undersecretary Graciano Yumul said by phone.
The research will be undertaken by Pagasa and the University of the Philippines’ National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) with their Taiwanese counterparts between now and 2013.
It was actually one of the researches that both the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (Meco) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) agreed to jointly undertake for the next two years at last week’s Third Joint Science and Technology Commission Meeting in Taipei.
In the aftermath of the disastrous floods, Gwen Pang of the Philippine National Red Cross had suggested that Pagasa translate its forecast of rainfall into flood forecasts in various areas.
Ma. Antonia J. Yulo Loyzaga of the Manila Observatory, in an October 18 talk on disaster risk reduction and management, said the weather bureau should communicate in the voice of the people, and tell the public whether “their livestock will survive” or “if they will be flooded until their necks.”
The other research projects that the Meco and Teco agreed to undertake concerned pest management in tomato and squash; biodiversity, estuarine and near-shore fishes as indicators of environmental changes, among others, according to Yumul.
Click here for more weather related news.