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DOST to provide hazard maps in ARMM for disaster preparedness

MANILA, April 28 — The Department of Science and Technology (DOST), in coordination with the University of the Philippines, will deploy a plane that would survey calamity-prone areas in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao by August.

The endeavor is part of the department's Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment Mitigation (DREAM) Project.

The DREAM Project seeks to create hazard maps which can be used for the implementation of disaster preparedness measures by communities within the region.

"The plane will gather information through the use of the Light Detection and Ranging or LIDAR technology to produce high resolution, detailed and up-to-date elevation map and data sets," DOST Assistant Secretary Raymond Liboro announced during an information drive on disaster preparedness which was held in Zamboanga City recently.

The information campaign which is entitled "Science for Safer Communities: Iba Na ang Panahon" was participated by mayors, disaster response officials and other local government officials from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi (BASULTA).

The participants were provided access to scientific tools such as flood hazard maps, flood models and high resolution maps which may be utilized to implement immediate action plans to deal with disasters.

LIDAR is a technology which uses laser light to map out topographic features of land forms such as mountains and valleys and water systems such as river, lake, stream, among others.

The data that will be gathered through the plane's LIDAR equipment will be analyzed to produce hazard maps that will assess the vulnerability of communities to natural calamities such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

The maps will be based on flood models and used with the integrated Flood Early Warning System which will provide people and communities a six hour notice to prepare for impending floods and other disasters.

The plane will be deployed in the BASULTA provinces, according to Liboro.

The DOST official expects that the hazard mapping will be completed by next year as the process of its preparation usually takes three months.

To date, DOST has installed 46 weather sensors all over the ARMM to help the region monitor rainfall, water level and stream level to prepare for disasters such as flooding, earthquake and tsunami, among others. (PNA)

FPV/ABP

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