Davao River to have telemetric system for flood monitoring

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/24 January)— The city government will put up a telemetric monitoring system (TMS) at the Davao River near Tamugan in Marilog district to warn low-lying areas of impending floods, Magno Adalin, chief of the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC), said Thursday.

Speaking at the I-speak media forum, he said the TMS would have a censor to detect the water level and a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera to capture images that would be transmitted to the intelligence operations center of the PSSCC.

Citing a study conducted a year ago, Adalin noted it would take “about two hours for the river water from upstream Tamugan to reach the lower part of the city.”

The TMS will be a big help in the city’s monitoring system, he said, adding that two hours is “good enough” to alert and prepare the people of an impending flood.

Once the TMS detects that the water reaches the alarming level, the PSSCC could immediately alert disaster response units, including the Central 911 and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC), Adalin said.

To be put up at the “soonest possible time,” the TMS is a part of the city’s CCTV camera project, which is still in the bidding process, Adalin said.

He pointed out that the provider of CCTV cameras will include the TMS for the Davao River as part of the package.

Adalin said that “all bridges in the city will be installed with CCTV cameras,” in addition to the 170 existing ones, including those used for the traffic system.

The TMS, which according to Adalin will be installed before the end of Mayor Sara Duterte’s term, will be the first river monitoring system in the city.

He cited that the PSSCC, along with the CDRRMC, has been relying on human monitoring as part of the preemptive measures against disasters such as flood.

Before and during the typhoon Pablo last December and the flooding this week, the city had been monitoring the water level of the Davao River and other tributaries, Adalin said.

Emmanuel Jaldon, chief of the CDRRMC and Central 911, said there are a number of human monitors assigned in shifts to the different areas of the city.

Also, the CDRRMC is constantly monitoring the possibility of flooding through the website of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, he added.

This week’s flooding in the city affected 14,221 families or 42,968 individuals, said Ma. Luisa Bermudo, head of the City Social Services and Development Office. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)