Foreign donors provide flood early warning system for Catanduanes

December 2, 2009 3:36 pm 

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Dec. 2 -– Four international donor agencies pooled their resources together to provide this province an early warning system against floods as part of the disaster risk reduction and management and management program initiative in flood-prone areas of Bicol.

The donation put together by the European Commission, Spain’s Generalitat Valenciana, Australian Agency for International Cooperation (AusAID), and Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID) was facilitated by the Action Against Hunger (ACF), a local humanitarian group.

Provincial Gov. Joseph Cua on Wednesday said the equipment and supplies composing the early warning system was turned over by ACF to the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) based at the provincial Capitol here during the week.

Among the equipment and supplies are a generator, portable Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, portable radio communication units, rescue equipment and public address systems.

It will be installed in Caramoran and San Miguel municipalities, both strategic points for the system which would be manned by the ACF management team, the governor said.

The early warning system project would be very useful in minimizing disasters in most barangays of the province that are highly vulnerability to floods and other calamities through the prompt relay of information to make villagers at risk ready to deal with any eventuality.

The covered barangays, Cua said, are Solong, Pagsangahan, J.M. Alberto, Tobrehon, San Marcos, Kilikilihan and Sta. Elena while in San Miguel town and Guiamlong, Iyao. Hitoma, Inalmasinan, Salvacion and Obi in Caramoran.

The system will establish digital rainfall stations in these barangays while water level stations are to be put in place along strategic areas of the rivers. These stations will send data to the Virac operations center at the Provincial Disaster Management Office (PDMO) every 10 minutes based on an arbitrary flood level.

A radio communication network that includes a repeater station at the Buenavista, Baras radar facility would serve as back-up facility, he said.

This radio network with its operation tied up with the DX4 Amateur Radio Club of Catanduanes and the Kabalikat Civicom is necessary due to the lack of reliable signals for cellular phones in the area. "The success of the communication system relies on the message relayed and received at all levels," Cua said.

For the project to be sustainable, the conduct of information education and communication orientations would be undertaken with all municipal disaster councils while periodic drills would also be conducted, he added. (PNA)



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