Thursday, 29 April 2010

PAGASA's high-grade rain gauge installed

Manila Bulletin

To prevent a repeat of the massive flooding brought about by storm “Ondoy” in the city and neighboring areas, a high-grade automatic rain gauge was set up Wednesday in Montalban, Rizal for a reliable and upgraded flood forecast system in the metropolis.

The rain gauge in Barangay San Rafael in Montalban is positioned inside the cell site of the Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) to automatically send rainfall data to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) through SMS (short message service).

The initiative is part of a program of the Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF) to help upgrade the country’s flood forecasting system.

The PDRF, headed by PLDT chairman Manuel Pangilinan, is the private sector arm of the Special National Public Reconstruction Commission created in the wake of the devastation brought about by typhoons “Ondoy”, “Pepeng”, and “Frank”. PAGASA Administrator Dr. Prisco Nilo said that installing a rain gauge in areas where bulk of flood waters come will help the agency monitor rainfall.

"We have set up automatic rainfall stations to improve monitoring of rainfall for timely and reliable warnings,” Nilo said.

“We are the first in Asia to co-locate our rain gauges in cell sites mainly because we enjoy the support of the private sector through the PDRF and the telco industry,” he added.

The rain gauge, which costs about P500,000, is a grant from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

“In installing our rain gauge in cell sites, we are guaranteed that our equipment is secured because of uninterrupted power supply and efficient data is transmitted,” he said.

Dr. Susan Espinueva, chief of the PAGASA’s Hydrometeorological Division, said a memorandum of agreement (MoA) was signed last March 22 with telecommunication companies Smart, Globe, and Sun for the co-location of rain gauges in the cell sites.

She said that about 15 to 20 rain gauge stations will be set up within the year, particularly in the Pasig-Marikina River Basin to prevent the occurrence of massive flooding at the time of another “Ondoy.”

Montalban was among the areas devastated by floodwaters due to a month’s amount of rainfall that Ondoy dumped in Metro Manila in about six hours in September, 2009.

“We will push this project not only in Metro Manila but also in other parts of the country,” he said.

No comments:

Post a Comment