DOST Caraga trains LGUs on utilizing tools for DRR

Planning, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Information Technology (IT) officers from the eleven (11) Local Government Units (LGU) in the region participated in two separate trainings on utilizing and implementing the outputs of CSU-LiDAR and DOST for disaster preparedness, September 25-28.

A total of 38 planning and DRR officers from LGUs of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Butuan City, Cabadbaran City, Bayugan City, Bislig City, Surigao City and municipality Jabonga participated in the first two-day training entitled Training on Hydrometeorological Hazards in Caraga and Utilizing the Output of CSU LiDAR-Based Hazard and Resource Maps as Tools for DRRM and Development Planning.

The Chief Meteorological Officer of Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Bancasi station Engr. Lolita Vinalay presented the hydrological and meteorological or hydromet hazards in Caraga, such as storms and floods. While PAGASA Hinatuan station OIC Heart Cipriano discussed the flood forecasting system. CSU-LiDAR Project staff Engr. Arthur M. Amora and Engr. Anamarie P. Sajonia helped the participants understand the flood hazard and resource maps.

The Philippine Light Detection and Ranging (Phil-LiDAR) Projects 1 and 2, funded by DOST, produced flood hazard and resource maps for the region through Caraga State University. The flood hazard maps, produced by CSU-LiDAR 1, contain information on predicted flood depth and risk levels in areas close to river basins.

On the other hand, the resource maps, by CSU-LiDAR 2, reflect the agricultural, forestry, coastal resources of a municipality or city, as well as potential renewable energy sources, and hydrologic data. The high definition maps are now ready for the use of LGUs and partner agencies. The technology of CSU-LiDAR Project is continued by Geo-SAFER Mindanao, still funded by DOST.

Earlier this year, the LGUs received the maps and data. The 11 LGUs are also recipients of DOST Caraga’s project dubbed as Science and Technology Operations for Risk Reduction Management (Project STORRM).

Thirty four (34) DRR and IT officers from the same 11 LGUs participated in the second two-day training entitled Training on the Utilization of the Flood Event Visualization and Damage Estimations (Flood EViDEns) and the Local Government Units Information Dissemination System (LGUIDS) as a Tool for Disaster Preparedness.

Flood EViDEns, developed by CSU-LiDAR 1 is an application for flood extent visualization and estimating or forecasting the numbers and locations of families and properties in the community vulnerable to flooding. The web-based near-real time system generates flood levels based on the water surface elevation (WSE) data gathered from water level monitoring systems on lakes and river basins. CSU-Lidar 1 and Geo-SAFER Agusan staff Elbert Moyon and Edsel Matt Morales demonstrated the system and helped the participants get a hands-on training on Flood EViDEns.

The LGUIDS, developed by DOST Region IV-A, is a tool that collects and disseminates data on disasters, hazards, farming and fishing updates. It also has a text blast system capable of receiving and responding to feedbacks. DOST Caraga IT staff Reyjean Comaling demonstrated the use of the system and facilitated the hands-on training.

DOST Caraga Supervising Science Research Specialist Noel M. Ajoc said that he is hopeful that the tools and the trainings can help LGUs disseminate information, create comprehensive flood advisory systems and local land use plan, and design mitigation measures to protect the residents, properties and resources in their communities from hazards.