Coming soon: Storm surge advisories


Posted at Jan 31 2014 03:37 PM | Updated as of Jan 31 2014 11:37 PM

MANILA -- Malacañang is working on a storm surge advisory (SSA) protocol that may be used as basis for preparing warning information.

A storm surge is the unusual rise in sea level associated with tropical storms. It is caused by high winds pushing on the ocean's surface.

During the Cabinet meeting on Thursday night, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario Montejo and Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay proposed to the President the SSA protocol.

They said the storm surge advisory should be released 48 hours in advance.

Using the protocol, SSA 1 indicates a storm surge height of up to two meters, SSA 2 up to five meters, and SSA 3 more than five meters.

Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said the storm surge disaster risk reduction efforts aim to reduce exposure in the coastal areas by implementing 'no-build' zones, develop natural barriers and construct man-made barriers to reduce impact of hazard, and construct resilient homes, buildings and infrastructure.

Meanwhile, also proposed was the adoption of a flood advisory (FA) system:

- FA number 1: up to 129 millimeters rainfall within the next 24 hours
- FA number 2: up to 190 millimeters rainfall
- FA number 3: up to 240 millimeters rainfall

According to Coloma, President Benigno Aquino III has directed the Cabinet to submit a disaster preparedness and risk reduction roadmap that will be formally adopted for implementation before the onset of the rainy season in June.

The Cabinet task group is composed of the secretaries of the Departments of National Defense (DND), Interior and Local Government (DILG), DOST, Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Trade and Industry (DTI), and National Climate Change Commission.

Meanwhile, presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson presented an update on the government's post-Yolanda rehabilitation efforts.

Lacson cited the active support of private corporations in spearheading rehabilitation efforts in 24 areas within the calamity zone.

He identified four pilot areas for rehabilitation: Tacloban City and Tanauan in Leyte, Guiuan in Eastern Samar, and Biliran.

Aquino directed the DILG, DND and DSWD to complete post-disaster needs assessment reports for all 171 cities and municipalities affected by the massive typhoon to provide a reliable baseline for the implementation of recovery and rehabilitation efforts. -- Reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News; ANC