DOST installs automated rain gauge in Basilan

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[/caption] Myra Alih, provincial science and technology director, said the equipment can provide real time and accurate data on rainfall in the province, which is key to disaster mitigation. ?Every year, the Philippines experiences strong typhoons with heavy rains and flooding during monsoon season. In recent past, these natural phenomena have plagued the country, claiming lives and millions worth of properties,? she said. Alih added that in preparation for such calamities, the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (Asti), in cooperation with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), both attached to the DOST, has enhanced the country?s capability in monitoring real-time weather disturbances by developing and producing low-cost system solutions and instrumentations. The ARG deployment is part of the Development of Hybrid Weather Monitoring System and Production of Weather and Rain Automated Stations Project, which aims to develop and deploy a network of automated weather stations and ARGs to monitor real-time weather changes occurring in specific localities all over the country. Provincial science and technology director of Maguindanao Abdulmasa K. Pangilan, together with his assistant Marilyn C. Manibpalm provided technical assistance in the installation of the ARG in Lantawan municipality after the launch in Isabela City. Pangilan said the gauging station is developed to gather and record the amount of rainfall over a set period of time and automatically sends data to a central base station on a pre-determined interval basis. ?The rainfall data are sent wirelessly through the cellular network as a text message or Short Messaging System. It is equipped with the ASTI-developed datalogger platform GSM Data Acquisition Terminal that serves as the mini-computer or brain that intelligently controls all the functions and data communications of the station,? he said. He added that the ARG is designed to be rugged and standalone, ?the station can be deployed even in the harshest remote areas and can operate continuously as it gets power from the sun backed up by the internal rechargeable battery.? A memorandum of agreement was signed between the DOST-ARMM, headed by OIC Regional Secretary Dr. Abdulgalib I. Halud, the provincial government of Basilan as represented by provincial administrator Tahir Latip, and the municipal government of Lantawan headed by mayor Rustam Ismael. Speaking in Tausog, Mayor Ismael expressed his gratitude to the DOST-ARMM officials for visiting Basilan and bringing assistance from the national government for the good of the people. He is also thankful for the trust given to Lantawan as host to the ARG equipment, which is installed at the perimeter of the municipal hall. Ismael assured that the equipment will be well taken care of under his watch because of its value to save lives. After the installation, Pangilan briefed local technical personnel on how the equipment works. He said the system uses a tipping bucket rain gauge that measures the amount of precipitation or rain that has fallen. Data from the tipping bucket rain gauge is collected and sent automatically via SMS (short messaging system or text) at a desired interval to a server. Default interval is 15 minutes. Then, the transmitted data are validated and processed by Pagasa personnel. Evaluated data and possible warning can be accessed by the public through the Internet. Latip said disasters are always imminent and that it pays to be prepared all the time. Quoting from a text message, Latip read that ?sometimes we need to struggle and that we are bound to struggle because it is in this way that we grow.? Disasters, he said, could be our struggles so that we will be taught to be prepared and become stronger in our convictions. Rene V. Carbayas — PIA ]]>

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