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