Flood Early Warning Systems set up in Danao, Argao
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — Two more Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) were established in Cebu as part of the initiative to reduce the ill effects of heavy downpour that causes massive flooding.
FEWS were established in Danao City in the north and Argao town in the south, according to Dr. Chihun Lee, senior research officer of the National Disaster Management Research Institute (NDMI).
“A small Early Warning System can save a lot of people’s lives that is the main purpose, people escaping the flooding,” Lee said in a message that he delivered during the ceremonial turnover of responsibility that was held in a hotel in Mandaue City on Friday, September 8.
Last year, FEWS was also established in Toledo City and Dumanjug town during the official launch of the program called “Strengthening the Capability of the Republic of the Philippines on Disaster Risk Reduction.”
The establishment of FEWS in Danao City and Argao town this year was part of phase 2 of the program’s implementation in Cebu. The projects was a collaboration between DOST-PAGASA and the South Korean government through its NDMI.
This web-based program was funded by the South Korean government and implemented by DOST-PAGASA.
Early Warning System
FEWS is used to monitor the water level in rivers. It also sends a signal to the residents if evacuation was already needed.
Its website provides real-time monitoring, observation data management, station management, and watershed information to recipient Local Government Units. It also shows interactive maps that will show the locations of the desired station and the detailed visual presentation of flood-prone areas.
FEWS uses three warning levels. As soon as the river’s water reaches a critical level, a siren is sounded and an audio recording on the need to evacuate will be heard by the residents of a risk area.
“Before ma-alert ang publiko naay monitoring. Naa sa DRRMO office and PAGASA Mactan. Ang DRRMO has the responsibility to decide kung ipa-alarm na ba for evacuation,” said Engr. Alfredo Quiblat Jr., head of the Visayas PAGASA Regional Service Division.
“So, in summary, these FEWS are an additional decision support tool para sa mga DRRM managers nato to aim on minimizing if not zero casualty during sa kusog nga pag-ulan brought by bad weather,” he added.
Just a warning system
Quiblat said that use of the FEWS was not an assurance that deaths and damage to properties would no longer happen in case of massive flooding.
But this was a tool to help save lives and minimize damage that flooding may cause.
“As what I’ve said walay assurance ani nga wala nay mamatay, wala nay casualty or dili na magbaha, basin ma-misinterpret unya, this is just a warning system,” Quiblat said.
Danao City Mayor Thomas Mark Durano and VIP Fortich Semilla, Argao’s administrator, thanked PAGASA-DOST and the South Korean government for making them part of the program.
Semilla attended the gathering on behalf of Argao Mayor Allan Sesaldo.
In his message, Semilla said that they currently utilize tanods, who are equip with radio transceivers, to monitor the threat of flooding in their locality.
“Because the mountain is very cold, our barangay tanods started to drink alcoholic beverages, so 30 [minutes] thereafter, we try calling them, mutubag pa. But 30 minutes thereafter wala nay nitubag kay nahubog na. So, it was a crude way of monitoring and it is not objective because the tanods cannot measure the rain that is falling in a certain period of time,” he said. / dcb
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