PAG-ASA to install water gauges in Zambo City rivers to monitor floods PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 16 June 2013 14:00

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical and Services Administration (PAGASA) will install Automated Water Level Staff Gauges, initially, in at least four big rivers in this city to ensure the early detection of floods without need for people to personally check on the water level of these rivers.

PAGASA Regional Chief Maribel Enriquez explained these sensitive and on-line water gauges will automatically inform PAG-ASA monitors at its main station near the local airport about the stages of water increase in these waterways.

Enriquez said these water gauges are equipped with sensors that will alert monitors at the regional centers about the particular water levels in these barangays.

Enriquez identified the four rivers to be installed with Automated Water Level Staff Gauges as those in the barangays of Vitali, Tumaga, Pasonanca and Ayala.

The Tumaga and Pasonanca Rivers are actually lengths of the same river that flows from this city’s watershed passing  through the barangays of Pasonanca, Sta Maria, Tumaga, Tetuan and on to Tugbungan towards the sea.

These five populous barangays, which are within the seven-kilometer radius from the city proper, regularly flood when it rains in the watershed and the river overflow its banks and spread to low-lying areas in these communities including the city proper.

On the other hand, Vitali River located some 75 kilometers east of the city proper flows through that populous barangay and nearby barangays towards the sea.

Vitali River river regularly overflows and flood the community including the school grounds of the Vitali Central School and Vitali National High School.

The barangay of Vitali is a major stop-over point for buses and cargo trucks plying routes from this city to other key cities in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Mindanao.

The river in Barangay Ayala located 17 kilometers west of the city flows through that community and flood other coastal barangays, which are home to industrial and canneries.

These Automated Water Level Staff Gauges cost about P150,000 each and can provide three level of alert; First flood alert, a get ready alert, and finally an evacuation alert at level three.

Enriquez said monitors at PAG-ASA are on line with these water level gauges even if they are kilometers away from the main station.

PAG-ASA can then alert the barangays that will be affected by the floods to act accordingly, being advised of an incoming flood, to get ready for any evacuation and to leave the vicinity of the river banks immediately.

“In this manner we can save lives and property,” Enriquez said.

These gauges are part of project NOAH of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and approved by its Advanced Science and Technology Institute.— LS