Zero casualties during natural calamities can be achieved - DOST PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 November 2013 11:28

Through proper information dissemination, zero casualties during natural calamities like typhoons, storm surges and flash floods can be achieved.

Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Assistant Secretary Raymund Liboro told journalists in Pagadian City last Tuesday that “the government aims for zero casualties through proper communication with the public through the help of the media.”

Liboro emphasized that the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) has proven to be a very powerful and effective tool to help predict the occurrences of typhoons and flash floods.

Project NOAH seeks to advance the use of new weather monitoring and meteorological technologies and techniques to provide the public with information to reduce casualties in times of natural disasters. Part of NOAH’s components include the three dimensional mapping of terrain all over the country, which is targeted to be completed within two years.

“We have the technology to predict the occurrences of monsoons five days before they strike a particular place,” he said adding “we can tell which areas will be affected by the floods.”

“As such, we can achieve zero casualties when people are properly informed before any natural calamity will strike so they will be prepared,” he pointed out.

Hourly updates with regard to the weather conditions are being provided by PAGASA-DOST on its twitter account and on its official website. Liboro appealed to the media to help in the dissemination of this information pertaining to the occurrences of such disasters as “this can save lives.”

Meanwhile, DOST Regional Director Brenda Nazareth-Manzano shared that the office has already planned for a massive information campaign/training on the regional level for the media, barangay officials and other stakeholders to orient them how to properly disseminate weather-related information. However, this was postponed due to the crisis last month.

“Hopefully, we will be able to conduct this activity within the year,” said Director Manzano.

Earlier in the day, Zamboanga del Sur Congressman Victor Yu, and chair of the House Committee on Science and Technology shared that the Philippines ranks ninth with regards to having the highest risks with climate change.

He said that in order for the country to be prepared for the eventualities of climate change, modernization of PAGASA’s facilities should be a priority.

“It is PAGASA’s job to inform us how to prepare for climate change, and they can only do this if their facilities and techniques are modernized,” he said.

Currently, PAGASA has a budget of P1.4 billion. This is seen to increase to more than P2 billion next year. — DIS/PIA9-ZBST