PH, Korean agency in­au­gu­rate $5.2-M flood warn­ing cen­ter

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page - By EL­LA­LYN DE VERA-RUIZ

The Korea In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion Agency (KOICA) and the Philip­pine At­mo­spheric, Geo­phys­i­cal, and As­tro­nom­i­cal Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion (PAGASA) in­au­gu­rated Fri­day, Dec. 7, the US $5.2mil­lion Pasig-Marik­ina-Tul­la­han River Basin Flood Fore­cast­ing and Warn­ing Cen­ter in Que­zon City.

The project in­tends to im­prove re­sponse to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and min­i­mize

dam­age to prop­er­ties and ca­su­al­ties in the Pasig-Marik­ina-Tul­la­han river basins.

Korean Am­bas­sador to the Philip­pines Han Dong-Man, KOICA Coun­try Di­rec­tor Myeong Seop Shin, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Sec­re­tary For­tu­nato de la Peña, and PAGASA Ad­min­is­tra­tor Vi­cente Malano led the turnover cer­e­mony last Fri­day.

The Korean gov­ern­ment, through KOICA, granted US$5.2 mil­lion for the es­tab­lish­ment of a com­mand cen­ter with state-of-the-art equip­ment; pro­vi­sion and in­stal­la­tion of au­to­matic wa­ter level gauges, au­to­matic rain gauges, warn­ing posts, and closed-cir­cuit tele­vi­sion cam­eras (CCTVs); devel­op­ment of 10 units of soft­ware; and set­ting up re­lay sta­tions and wire­less net­work for the CCTVs.

“This project com­posed of the au­to­ma­tion of the flood early warn­ing sys­tem and this fore­cast­ing and warn­ing cen­ter, are shields of our lo­cal pop­u­lace that en­able them to bet­ter pre­pare for this type of haz­ard,” De la Peña said.

Malano said the project is PAGASA’s an­swer to the peo­ple’s need to be warned be­fore­hand so that the risk of get­ting caught in the mid­dle of a se­vere flood is sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced.

“We are build­ing the pre­pared­ness of our peo­ple. We are pro­mot­ing proac­tive­ness by push­ing them to go be­yond the usual level of pre­pared­ness through this im­proved flood early warn­ing sys­tem that will be man­aged by this cen­ter that we have in­au­gu­rated,” Malano said.

The project will also cover dis­patch of Korean ex­perts to share their tech­ni­cal know-how, and en­hance ca­pac­ity of PAGASA per­son­nel to re­spond to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

“The Korean gov­ern­ment rec­og­nizes the ur­gent need to ad­dress and mit­i­gate the dev­as­ta­tion caused by floods as it is con­sid­ered to be one of the most dam­ag­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters in the coun­try. We rec­og­nize the need to strengthen dis­as­ter re­sponse ca­pac­i­ties to save and pro­tect more lives,” Han said.

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