DOST to complete flood hazard mapping by 2016

By Aerol B. Patena

MANILA, March 12 (PNA) — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) seeks to map all flood prone areas nationwide by 2016 through its Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) Project, Secretary Mario Montejo said in an interview during the presentation of the department’s flagship projects held at the UP Diliman in Quezon City Wednesday.

The DREAM Project aims to generate high resolution 3D maps of flood prone areas nationwide through Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology that can be used by local government units for evacuation of residents during natural disasters, hazard assessment and quick disaster response measures.

The project has already completed mapping of eighteen major river basins around the country

“We intend to map out tributaries connecting to major river basins as well as other rivers nationwide,” said Montejo.

The department aims to cover 300 major river systems around the country for the next two to three years.

The DOST will also be coordinating with 15 state universities and colleges to train students in analyzing data that are generated by its radar equipment and weather sensors.

“We want SUCs to be a part of our project so that we may be able to expand data acquisition,” he stated.

Thus far, flood maps and early warning systems have been done for 48 provinces, 612 municipalities and about 40 million residents.

Its flood models and outputs gather data from more than 700 weather sensors strategically installed nationwide.

The DREAM was also tapped to help the government in the post-disaster assessment of the Bohol earthquake and super typhoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas Region last year.

Through updated and high-accuracy maps, the government can undertake quick response measures as well as post disaster assessment to help affected communities.

The project was also recently nominated to the Geospatial World Awards in Geneva, Switzerland to be held this May because of its approach in investing resources to develop local capacity for addressing national concerns rather than relying on foreign aid or funding which may serve as an example to other developing countries in the region. (PNA)