Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Install Flood Warning Systems in Areas Along the Path of Water Released From Dams

Flood warning systems should be installed along the paths of water released from dams in order to alert the people regarding oncoming floods. A flood warning system composed of a loud siren activated by the operators of the dam everytime they release water should be placed at regular intervals along the areas determined to be affected by the sudden volume of water.

While currently there is a system in place wherein dam operators give notice to the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Councils (PDCC) and Municipal Disaster Coordinating Councils (MDCC) prior to releasing water, it is obvious that it is insufficient or even ineffective. It is clear that the information does not reach the grassroots, owing to failures along the channels of communication or the lack of time for thorough dissemination.

A common account of the people who fell victim to the recent floods in northern Luzon is that they did not get warnings about the release of water from the dams.

In other countries, very loud sirens similar to air raid sirens used in World War II are installed along the channels where flood waters flow and warn people residing on or near those areas whenever there is a threat of rivers, creeks or waterways overflowing to dangerous levels.

The flood warning systems should be operated and controlled by the dam operators so that the warnings will be activated instantly whenever needed. While warnings should still be communicated in the traditional manner,  that is, through communication with PDCCs and MDCCs, an alarm audible to the residents of an affected area is still a method which will guarantee that there is timely and adequate warning down to the grassroots.

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