UN says PH preparedness cut death toll

AP PHOTO

The United Nations agency for disaster reduction has lauded the Philippines’ preparedness for Typhoon “Pablo,” saying enhanced weather forecasting and flood warning systems helped reduce loss of lives from the typhoon.

 

In a statement, the UN Office for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) praised the “improved performance” of the country’s early warning systems.

 

“This time last year over 1,400 people died [from Tropical Storm “Sendong”] in Mindanao in a similar event but this time big improvements in the early warning systems have saved many lives,” said UNISDR’s regional office for Asia.

 

UNISDR head Jerry Velasquez cited the Department of Science and Technology’s Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), a comprehensive disaster risk-mitigation program launched this year to upgrade weather forecasting, and flood and landslide warning systems.

 

“The government’s Noah project has enabled central government agencies, local governments and citizens to prepare and act before intense weather arrives,” Velasquez said.

 

“The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons each year so this is vitally important. It is also evident that since we met with local mayors in Mindanao earlier this year, practical measures have been taken on the ground to improve the alert system and communication with affected communities,” he added.

 

Witnessing the benefits of technology in preventing casualties at the height of Pablo, the government is set to invest more money to “advance the technology for weather forecasting,”  Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas told officials at the regional post-Pablo assessment in Cagayan de Oro City on Thursday.

 

Roxas said foremost in the government’s plan was to buy state-of-the-art sensors for water levels and rain volume.

 

He said the water level sensors and rain gauges installed in the headwaters of Cagayan de Oro River, for example, were able to send real-time data to Project Noah’s headquarters. The information was circulated among disaster risk-reduction and management councils in the region.

 

Roxas, however, said that President Aquino was a bit disappointed with a Doppler radar’s range of only 300 kilometers.

 

“The immediate solution is for the government to buy available weather information equipment and systems from solutions provider like the United States Geographical Services or the Japan Meteorological Agency,” Roxas said.

 

Project Noah’s executive director Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, in a telephone interview, said he was glad the government saw the importance of disaster preparedness and mitigation.

 

Armen Cuenca, vice chair of the Cagayan de Oro Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the technology adopted by Project Noah helped in preventing casualties.

 

Roxas said the government was planning to distribute information from government agencies involved in disaster preparedness via smartphones and was looking into the possibility of making every town in the country connected to the Internet. Reports from Tarra Quismundo in Manila; Orlando Dinoy, Danilo Adorador III, Aquiles Zonio, Ryan Rosauro and Bobby Lagsa, Inquirer Mindanao

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  • DakuAkongUtin

    This is just a feel good or make me feel good self praising article from UN for the Pino Govt. Such an article is immaterial to what had happened. The focus is to help the helpless and victims and not write all kinds of bs praising the ante .  Dont just sing the karaoke but roll up your sleeves and start helping. If Luzonians cannot be down helping in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley , then it will lose its legitimacy.  They need help very badly.

  • Kamatis Tomato

    If you prevent death you don’t get praises but if you help burry the dead or help the victims that is when you get all the praises. 

  • arao_liwanag

    THIS STATEMENT IS SELF- SERVING COMING FROM A U.N. AGENCY RELEASED BY JERRY VELASQUEZ HEAD OF U.N.I.S.D.R. A FILIPINO. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN A PROPAGANDA FOR NOYNOY REGIME.

    THE LAST HURRICANE, SANDY, IN THE U.S.A. WHICH RAVAGED THE NORTHEASTERN  SEABOARD STATES STARTING FROM VIRGINIA  UPWARD, MORE THAN TEN FOLDS IN SCOPE AND FEROCITY AND DAMAGES TO PROPERTIES, INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT, HAD CLAIMED MORE OR LESS 10 LIVES ONLY.  AND YET NOBODY BOASTED OR PRAISED THAT F.E.M.A., THE FEDERAL AGENCY IN CHARGE OF DISASTER LIKE THIS, THAT THEY DID A GOOD JOB.  ALL THE HAVE TO SAY, WE CAN DO BETTER. THE U.N.I.S.D.R. SAID NOTHING, WE DON’T NEED IT ANYWAY. HAPPILY, OUR GOVERNMENT LOVE TO ACT THAN TO TALK, UNLIKE THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT WHO TALK A LOT AND DO A LITTLE, OR NOT DO AT ALL.

    • bahaykubo1015

      Agree!!

  • DakuAkongUtin

    Send the heavy  Phil Navy LST transports and deliver help ASAP. No more karaoke time, its helping time . Do not waste time , mobilize entire Phil Navy to deliver the goods . Dont dilly dally and talking BS. This article is practically a self adolation for what RP gvt did. That is now immaterial. The real work lies ahead.

    • arao_liwanag

      Few years back a calamity of lesser intensity than typhoon Pablo struck Philippines, having roots in the country, we joined the drive to solicit donation in cash and in kind.
      The drive was so successful that a lot of balikbayan boxes full of clothing and other goodies were collected. We were told by the leader of the drive that it would take a Philippine Navy Ship to deliver it. Indeed, we were informed that a Phil. Navy Ship pick up the boxes.  Everyone was happy and feeling proud to have help, even in a small way, the victims of the calamity.

      Few months passed, the leader who spearheaded the donation drive return from a vacation in the Philippines. As usual he was well come back and was asked about the situation. His reply was unsettling: “Our donation did not reach the intended beneficiaries, however, it reached the selves of OKAY OKAY”. We pressed him to explain what is OKAY OKAY, his answer was short: Monkey business. By whom we asked: Everyone, He said. That’s the rule. The exception are handful of honest guys, but they are overwhelmed.

      Now, many think that we rather give our donation directly to victims or some NGO who really work with and for the victims. The Government can’t be trusted.

  • bahaykubo1015

    What does Velasquez mean with this statement?
    The death toll is fast climbing to 500 with several hundreds still missing and he starts praising the Philippine government’s preparedness for typhoon Pablo. Nakakaluko ba siya??? Or are some people prodding him from the back to issue this statement?
    Magkano ka ba Velasquez?
    Kinikilabotan ka sana to issue this statement praising Philippine government preparedness with several hundred bodies still unburied and the count going on!!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RWPOD4ER5LJPDQU3N32NAC74X4 johnnie r

    …A very SICK joke! Casualties nearing the 500 mark and counting yet they pat themselves in the back for a job well done? How morbid these guys are!!!

    • bahaykubo1015

      the height of bad taste ….to say the least

  • arao_liwanag

    Few years back a calamity of lesser intensity than typhoon Pablo struck Philippines, having roots in the country, we joined the drive to solicit donation in cash and in kind.The drive was so successful that a lot of balikbayan boxes full of clothing and other goodies were collected. We were told by the leader of the drive that it would take a Philippine Navy Ship to deliver it. Indeed, we were informed that a Phil. Navy Ship pick up the boxes.  Everyone was happy and feeling proud to have help, even in a small way, the victims of the calamity.
    Few months passed, the leader who spearheaded the donation drive return from a vacation in the Philippines. As usual he was well come back and was asked about the situation. His reply was unsettling: “Our donation did not reach the intended beneficiaries, however, it reached the selves of OKAY OKAY”. We pressed him to explain what is OKAY OKAY, his answer was short: Monkey business. By whom we asked: Everyone, He said. That’s the rule. The exception are handful of honest guys, but they are overwhelmed.
    Now, many think that we rather give our donation directly to victims or some NGO who really work with and for the victims. The Government can’t be trusted.

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