By Estrella Z. Gallardo
Secretary Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology )DOST) during the past landslide inspection (January 15) at St. Bernard town of Southern Leyte announced that the Science Department is preparing hazard warning devices that deliver real-time information every hour.
The rain-filled weeks that induced a series of landslides in St. Bernard resulted to the death of three children and in burying in mod of a number of houses. Seven barangays were declared as permanent danger zones and relocated by the multi-agency Hazard Mapping and Assessment for Effective Community-based Disaster Risk Management or READY project.
“People can prepare themselves better and faster” Science Secretary Mario Montejo said by having correct disaster-related information. St. Bernard Mayor Rico Rantuza said that they are willing to partner with DOST, and DOST’s hazard warning devices will not only benefit St. Bernard but the whole of Leyte and other places prone to landslides.
The hazard warning devices, all locally developed comprise automatic rain gauges, water level gauges, weather monitoring stations and landslides monitoring sensors. DOST and the UP’s Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute are expected to roll out the landslide early warning system technology within the year.
In a television interview, Secretary Montejo said to Leytenos in Waray dialect “He came here to bring S & T-based solution to the pressing problem of generating important and accurate disaster warning. We are accelerating the deployment of these sensors in ten sites all over the country that are constantly affected by disasters especially landslides.”
Sec. Montejo explained to Mayor Rantuza that the landslide warning devices are tubes with sensors at different levels submerged 20 meters below the ground to be able to detect movements at that depth,
“After three weeks of rain, there is no question that landslides will follow.” said Graciano P. Yumul, DOST Undersecretary for Research and Development (R & D). He is also the concurrent Officer-In-Charge of Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).-30-