Modern technologies help address natural disasters

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“Modern technologies may help us make informed decisions in dealing with natural disasters” said Dr. Enrico Paringit of the University of the Philippines-Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry during the Remote Sensing Conference organized by Philippine Remote Sensing Society (PRSS) and Department of Science and Technology (DOST).

Dr. Paringit heads a DOST-funded project called Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment Mitigation (DREAM) which aims to acquire spatial data or geographic information of at least one third of the total land area of the Philippines using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology .

“The data acquired will be used to develop flood hazard models that would produce detailed and updated flood hazard maps for critical river systems,” said Dr. Paringit.

LiDAR is a remote sensing technology that uses light sensors to accurately measure the distance between the sensor and the target object by firing rapid pulses of laser light at a surface and measuring the amount of time each pulse bounce back.  By repeating this in quick succession, the instrument builds up a complex map of the surface it is measuring.

The project will entail procurement of LiDAR system which include aerial, field, and computing resources and training on new equipment and software.

Stressing the importance of the technology in his message to the participants, DOST Assistant Secretary Robert Dizon said “Remote sensing, offers potential in solving problems like providing the means for generating information, regular monitoring and analysis to predict and visualize major scenarios.”

He added that the technology provides database for generating baseline information on natural resources—a prerequisite in planning, implementation, and monitoring of any environmental program. ###

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