Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Philippines produces 3D flood hazard map

Imelda V. Abano in the Thomson Reuters Foundation: Devastating floods and heavy rains across the country have prompted the Philippine government to begin producing 3D flood hazard maps to help make better planning decisions about flood risks.

“We consider this new map as relevant especially as a tool to make local land use plans truly based on risk - not only historical risks but future risks based on rainfall scenarios. We cannot be planning long term development based on yesterday's event, but must factor in future climate risks,” said Mary Ann Lucille Sering, secretary of the country’s Climate Change Commission.

The maps, which will provide up-to-date scientific data and analysis on local-scale flooding and climate risks, are being created using 3D technology as part of the Climate Change Commission’s efforts to adapt the Philippines to the impacts of climate change.

They incorporate climate change projections for the years 2020 to 2050, and expected future changes in annual mean temperature and rainfall, as well as humidity, chances of erosion, soil texture, sea level rise and other environmental risks. The data, laid on top of existing maps, helps highlight areas that could face future flooding, Sering told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The map identifies areas most vulnerable to flooding with a gradation of colour - the darker the hue, the deeper the water. For instance, the purple colour in the map shows how high water might rise along the banks of the Cagayan De Oro River if heavy rainfall occurs...

An aerial view of flood areas in Kalibo, Philippines, is shown June 26, 2008, three days after being struck by Typhoon Fengshen. The Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief to victims of the typhoon, which struck the Philippines June 23, 2008. Photo by MCCS Spike Call, US military photo

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