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Public Safety

The Philippines government develops disaster early warning system

In order to keep the public updated of impending storm surges floods or landslides, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has created an early warning system.

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The system is designed to alert residents - especially those living in densely populated areas such as Metro Manila - of tropical cyclones.

The warning will be given 48 hours in advance, according to DOST Secretary Mario Montejo and Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay, who presented the project to President Benigno Aquino III last week at a cabinet meeting.

The storm surge warnings will have three indicators, Storm Surge Advisories (SSA) No. 1 for storm surges up to two metres in height, No. 2 for up to five metres and No. 3 for anything higher than five metres.

Flood warnings will similarly have three indicators, starting with No. 1 for rainfalls of up to 129 millimetre in the next 24 hours, No. 2 for up to 190 millimetre, and No. 3 for up to 240 millimetres.

The team proposed several measures to minimise disaster risks, such as enforcing ‘no-build’ zones in coastal areas, enhancing the resiliency of residential and commercial structures, and building natural and man-made barriers to soften the impact in the event of a storm surges.

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