It isn’t a question of, if the next Ondoy will happen, but when. A year later, is the Philippines ready for the next Ondoy?
The Department of Science and Technology prepared a presentation on where we are in terms of deployment. In place according to the DOST are networks of stations designed to observe the weather. There are 59 Synoptic stations— meaning an observation post designed to analyze atmospheric disturbances like fronts and typhoons as well as 29 agromet stations. There are also 43 automatic weather stations across the country.
On Meteorological satellite facilities there are seven— MTSAT, NOAA, Chinese FY2, MODIS and two from WAFS. There are also metrological buoys designed to aid the maritime sector during extreme weather. One is located at Burias Island, and another in Batayan Island.
The country also has six upper air stations. One is in Laoag, another is in Tanay. Legazpi, Puerto Princesa, Cebu and Davao also have Upper Air Stations.
Doppler radars located at SBMA Hinatuan and Tampakan are expected to be operational by September 2010. Tagaytay and mactan-Cebu radar between October and November 2010.
PAGASA-DOST Data Integration is being established to create a decision support system. There is an integrated information display and analyses.
An hourly tropical warning update is intended to be in place to better aid in decision making. PAGASA-DOST also monitoring rivers and rain gauges with sensors scattered across the country. There is one for example on Marikina-Pasig River Flood Monitoring System.
PAGASA-DOST are also conducting post-storm analysis and assessment to validate and verify technologies and all these technologies point to better visualization data processing and analysis.
DOST plans to add more marine buoys— raise it to 12 from the existing 2. Three additional doppler radars are being planned. One in Panay, another in Palawan and also in Zamboanga.
PAGASA is now conducting hourly updates. They have Doppler Radars. They have Manual and automatic weather stations, and an integrated weather observational information through automated data processing. Oh, they’re promising laymanized bulletins.
Is this good enough for now? Will it hold up against the next Ondoy? The only way to tell is to put it through the gauntlet. The short take away— government is at the very least acting and for what it’s worth, deserves a provisional, A-.