Geo-hazard PH map to be ready by 2014
by FFE PH News Staff
The devastation left by super typhoon Yolanda has served as a wake-up call for government agencies to invest in measures to reduce the impact of disasters. One of these is the creation of geo-hazard maps that indicate zones where damage due to natural disasters is likely to occur.
To speed up the creation of geo-hazard maps for the Philippines, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has announced it will allot Php400m of its 2014 budget for the maps. This sum is just part of the MGB’s approved Php1.09 billion budget for 2014 that will allow the bureau to purchase equipment and start more projects next year.
MGB director Leo Jasareno said the maps are vital to raise awareness on geo-hazard zones and to reduce deaths whenever disasters occur. The bureau is targeting typhoon-battered areas in the Visayas by pointing out no-build zones. Coastal areas that are vulnerable to soil erosion will also be determined.
Geo-hazard mapping have already been carried out in 1,034 cities and municipalities. The detailing of 600 cities and municipalities is expected to be done by 2014. Private geological surveyors have also been tapped to speed up the mapping process.
The rest of the bureau’s 2014 budget will be allocated for projects like the hydrological assessment project that aims to look for more aquifers (underground layer of water-bearing rocks) to boost water supply.
The bureau also plans to acquire fifteen new ground penetrating radars (GPRs) that will assess if areas are prone to flooding and landslides. The Philippines currently has only one GPR that is now being used in Bohol to map out possible sinkholes made by the October 2013 earthquake.
GPR and other equipment will improve the quality of existing maps, improving its scale from 1:50,000 to a more detailed 1:10,000. Every region will be given one GPR, worth Php6m each, for this purpose.