MisOr taps help of firm to address disaster-A A +A
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
WITH typhoons that regularly visit the country for the past years bringing with them floods and landslides that kill thousands of people, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMCO) of Misamis Oriental has tapped the services of a solutions company to address this problem.
DevKinetics Inc. (DKI) has recently made a project called ‘eBayanihan,’ which is an interactive website for users who wish to increase the awareness of the people regarding social movements and disaster updates.
Project head Regina Estuar said that the project is a web application focusing on what is called as ‘people data.’
“Typically, ang nare-receive natin na mga updates are from the weather agency and ibang mga involved sa disaster preparedness. Pero nakakalimutan natin na may ibang dimension ang disaster na hindi kayang i-reach ng mga agencies na ito at ang mga tao ‘yun (Typically, we receive updates from the weather agency and others involved in disaster preparedness. But we seem to forget that disaster has a different dimension that couldn't be reached by these agencies and by the people),” Estuar told participants during the PDRRM summit series on Wednesday.
“This is an app where Android or iOS users can download. Crowd-sourcing ‘to, meaning, people who has the app are contributing to others who are under a particular calamity,” she added.
“This is a system that will allow ordinary citizens to report disaster-related news in their areas by giving us information like submitting picture and location of the ‘scooper.’ Sometimes, they can also share their experiences to us at i-mo-monitor namin ‘yun. We store it in our ‘cloud’ para makita naming kung ano ang mga inconsistencies at paano i-a-adress ng government natin,” Estuar said.
DKI has also made a relatively close application called Flood Control App and had its pilot testing in eight municipalities somewhere in Luzon.
“Ang inspiration namin na gawin ‘yun ay sa mga ‘habagat’ [southwest monsoon]-prone areas na madali lang babahain,” she said.
The applications are inspired from the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) project called Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or commonly known as NOAH.
Incidentally, eBayanihan is a DOST-funded project.
In his speech, provincial administrator Edmundo Pacamalan Jr. said the SMS-digitization would be a great idea to add with NOAH and will somehow alleviate the possibility of having high counts of death like what happened during the onslaught of typhoon Sendong in 2011.
Susceptibility to flood and landslide
Ana Cañeda, Office of Civil Defense-10 (OCD-10) regional director and chair of RDRRMC-10, said that in their potential geo-hazard map, Misamis Oriental is prone to floods and landslides, with the tropical depression Agaton, which hit the country earlier this year, as proof.
“We have seen Magsaysay [town] had its landslide and several municipalities experiencing several floods. Misamis Oriental is different now so we must be prepared,” Cañeda said.
She recalled Sendong in her presentation saying it should be what people today must learn from.
“Before, we were response-oriented. Now, we are proactive. We are prepared to activate our operations, clear information dissemination already prepared, and alertness level is already high,” she added.
The Poverty Statistics of OCD also showed that as of 2012, the province is the lowest at 25 percent.
“This is actually good news. If the statistics were high, it means that there are people living in the coastline areas or in the danger zones. Even without the typhoon yet, that fact alone is already a disaster,” Cañeda said.
In OCD’s assessment, flood is the highest problem of the province at 64.9 percent. This is frequently caused by constricted waterways, posing a Sendong-like disaster in the future.
“Pwede gyud kaayo nga dili na mahitabo utro. Bantay lang gyud ta og maayo,” she said, adding “the lost lives are priceless, [the OCD’s money is not enough to help those in need].”
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 04, 2014.