14 hydromet devices installed in disaster-prone areas in Region 12

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/02 December) —  The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region 12 has completed the installation of 14 more hydro-meteorological or hydromet devices in various disaster risk areas in the region.

Zenaida Hadji Raof-Laidan, DOST Region 12 director, said Friday they installed the early warning devices in critical waterways and communities considered highly vulnerable to flooding.

She said the installed devices include automated rain gauges (ARGs) and water level monitoring systems (WLMS).

“This is part of our continuing efforts to enhance real-time weather monitoring and help prevent potential disasters in our communities,” she said in a statement.

Laidan said the hydromet devices, which were installed in coordination with the local government units,provide real-time data to communities that are considered as high risk to flooding, landslide, storm surge and other weather-related disasters.

She said the generated data could give early warning to residents and responders for looming disasters.

In the last five years, DOST-12  installed a total of 86 hydromet devices within the region’s four provinces and five cities under the Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH.

The region comprises the provinces of  South Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato and the cities of Koronadal, General Santos, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

These comprise 56 ARGs, 26 WLMS and four automated weather station (AWS). Eight of the devices were installed in 2012, 51 in 2013 and 13 in 2015.

The agency installed 26 devices in North Cotabato, 23 in Sarangani, 20 in South Cotabato and 17 in Sultan Kudarat.

Laidan said the installed devices are equipped with data logger platform GSM Data Acquisition Terminal, which serves as a mini-computer that controls their functions and data communication.

She said the data generated from these devices are sent wirelessly through cellular network as text messages that can be access through the program’s website www.noah.dost.gov.ph.

The official assured that they conduct periodic monitoring, maintenance and evaluation of the installed devices to ensure that they function properly.

For this year, she said they conducted a recalibration and upgrading of the systems of the hydromet devices.

“Part of the recalibration is the installation and integration of automated sirens in the systems to automatically warn our communities when devastating situations come,” Laidan said.

She added that they are also working with the Philippine Astronomical, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Advanced Science and Technology Institute, University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences and its College of Engineering for the upgrading of their systems. (MindaNews)