As the Philippines enters the rainy season, researchers from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines (UP) have unveiled the development of severe wind hazard maps for susceptible buildings around the country.
Funded by the DOST and monitored by the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), the researchers from the program “Severe Wind Hazard and Risk Assessment for Cebu City” developed fundamental datasets and information on hazard, exposure, and vulnerability of different building types against strong winds, providing critical information for local disaster response teams.
The research team from the DOST’s Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) developed regional wind hazard maps for the entire country. Severe wind maps for 78 provinces, and 41 local wind hazard maps for 41 provinces. The regional wind hazard maps were modified to local settings like terrain and other topographic factors.
PAGASA also developed a risk exposure database for 2, 600 buildings in Cebu City to prepare local chief executives on the effects of strong winds in their LGU.
On the other hand, researchers from the UP Institute of Civil Engineering are developing building vulnerability classification system that classifies structures according to their susceptibility to damage when battered by severe winds.
PCIEERD executive director Enrico Paringit explained that the severe wind hazard maps that will soon be made available to local government units for disaster preparedness and mitigation, Philippines being one of the most prone to tropical cyclones in the second half of the year.
“We hope these hazard maps can equip our local disaster mitigation officers in preparing, planning, responding, and mitigating hazards that are brought about by strong winds of tropical cyclones. As leader and partner in enabling innovations, we shall continue to provide solutions and opportunities that can help the Filipino people cope with the challenges of natural disasters,” he said.