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PIA Press Release
Thursday, January 05, 2012


Automatic rain gauges installed in Iloilo

by Elsa S. Subong

ILOILO CITY, Jan. 5 (PIA6) -- Five Automatic Rain Gauges (ARG) have been installed in five strategic places in the province of Iloilo – Alimodian, Cabatuan, Maasin, Pavia and in Jaro, Iloilo City.

A joint project of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Smart Communications, the ARGs are meant to track rain water and rainfall duration.

DOST Regional Director Rowen Gelonga said the ARGS, which complement the others already installed across the region, are part of one system that will benefit Iloilo and eventually the country, as far as disaster preparedness is concerned.

The DOST said that through the Smart SIM card, the equipment transmits rainfall data for further analysis every fifteen minutes.

“This speeds up and makes more accurate the previous process of manually gauging rainfall through a measuring stick and sending the data once every 24 hours,” Gelonga said.

"We also hope that over time, we can actually generate more data and come up with better correlation between rainfall and flooding, Gelonga said.

Earlier Gelonga said that in the event of the devastations of Sendong, and all the other super typhoons that hit the country, most of the lives lost were not because of the strong winds or storm surges, but because of the flooding.

Gelonga added that Smart has also pledged to help fund the installation of Automatic Water Level Sensors that will alert the communities once the water in rivers reaches critical levels.

“With the ARGs in consortium with other equipment plus the water level sensors that we are installing all over the region, the local government units will be more prepared for adverse weather events,” Gelonga said.

Meanwhile, Smart Public Affairs head Ramon Isberto said he reaffirmed the company”s commitment to help government institutions and LGUs in times of disasters.

“Aside from ensuring the continuity of our communication services in times of disasters, we are also committing to explore the use of our technologies to help government improve our weather monitoring system in all ways possible,” Isberto said.

“The ARGs in Iloilo are just some of the rain gauges we have installed in several high risk areas all over the country,” he added.

On the other hand, Alimodian Mayor Juanito Alipao in thanking Smart during the turn-over ceremony, said the ARG will help alert his community to possible calamities brought about by heavy rains.

Civil Defense records would show that Iloilo is one of the calamity-prone areas in the country, while the Mines and Geosciences Bureau has identified areas in Iloilo which are highly vulnerable to landslides and flooding. (JCM/ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

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