TACLOBAN CITY – The provincial government of Leyte, in collaboration with the provincial office of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), has formalized an agreement for the establishment of a local flood early warning system.

The memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed by Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla and DOST Leyte Chief John Glenn Ocaña, with the presence of board member Carlo Loreto, municipal mayors, and officials from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) and Municipal DRRMO.

The installation of early flood warning devices along the Binahaan and Bangon Rivers, which flow from the town of Jaro down to Alangalang, Dagami, Pastrana, Sta Fe, Tanauan, and Palo, marks a critical step towards enhancing disaster preparedness and response in the province, stated board member Loreto.

“Leyte, like many other areas, has faced recurrent threats of devastating floods, resulting in significant loss of life and extensive damage to property and infrastructure. The Binahaan and Bangon Rivers, traversing these municipalities, have been notorious as primary sources of these massive floods. Hence, the urgent need to establish a comprehensive and robust early warning system becomes apparent,” Loreto emphasized.
He explained that the primary objective of the project is to provide residents and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) operatives with timely and real-time data on water levels and predicted flood events before they occur.

By installing early warning devices along the rivers, the project aims to empower at-risk communities with the necessary information to take proactive measures and evacuate vulnerable areas promptly.

In addition to saving lives, the early warning system will play a crucial role in mitigating socioeconomic losses caused by flooding incidents. It will offer advance notice of impending floods, enabling residents to safeguard valuable assets, evacuate livestock, and protect critical infrastructure.

This proactive approach is expected to alleviate the financial burden on affected individuals, local governments, and the economy as a whole. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)