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President Aquino orders Cabinet to draw up disaster preparedness roadmap
Saturday 1st of February 2014

MANILA, Feb 1 -- President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday ordered the Cabinet to draw up a comprehensive disaster preparedness plan in time for the rainy season in June.


Following a Cabinet meeting in Malacañang, the President wants the road map formally adopted for implementation before the onset of the rainy season in June.


The plan may include advisory systems for storm surges and floods to better warn residents about the dangers from a cyclone, which were presented at Thursday's meeting.


Priority areas of focus include highly vulnerable high-population areas such as Metro Manila; and how to restart the economy after a major disaster.


Making up the Cabinet task group are the secretaries of the Department of National Defense, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, National Climate Change Commission, and the Department of Trade and Industry.


During the Cabinet meeting, proposed advisory systems were presented for storm surges and floods. Storm Surge Advisories (SSAs), to be given 48 hours in advance, include:


SSA No. 1: a storm surge height of up to two meters, SSA No. 2: up to five meters, SSA No. 3: more than five meters. The storm surge disaster risk reduction efforts aim to:

- reduce exposure in the coastal areas by implementing ‘no-build’ zones

– develop natural barriers and construction of man-made barriers to reduce impact of hazard

– home, building and infrastructure resiliency.


Also proposed was a flood advisory (FA) system that includes:

FA No. 1: up to 129 mm rainfall within the next 24 hours, FA No. 2: up to 190 mm rainfall, FA No. 3: up to 240 mm rainfall.


At the Cabinet meeting, DOST Secretary Mario Montejo and Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay presented results of various simulation studies on storm surges, floods, and landslides, using data for the last 50 years to project future trends. (PCOO)

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