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DOST eyes 2016 deadline to complete flood hazard mapping

The Department of Science and Technology is aiming to finish by 2016 its efforts to map the country's flood-prone areas, including those in 300 major river systems nationwide.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said this will be under the department's Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) Project.

So far, the project has completed mapping of 18 major river basins around the country, state-run Philippines News Agency reported.

“We intend to map out tributaries connecting to major river basins as well as other rivers nationwide,” said Montejo.

DREAM seeks to generate high-resolution 3D maps of flood-prone areas with its Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology.

It seeks to help local government units map out the evacuation of residents during natural disasters, hazard assessment and quick disaster response measures.

Meanwhile, the DOST said it will work with 15 state universities and colleges to train students in analyzing data generated by its radar equipment and weather sensors.

“We want SUCs to be a part of our project so that we may be able to expand data acquisition,” Montejo said.

So far, the DOST said flood maps and early warning systems have been done for 48 provinces, 612 towns and 40 million residents.

The DOST's flood models and outputs gather data from more than 700 weather sensors in strategic areas. — LBG, GMA News