Geohazard maps now more accessible online for the public

By Nikka Garriga

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has made geohazard maps now more accessible to the public in an effort to further raise awareness on responding to disasters.

The interactive geohazard maps are now available through the agency's website along with three other government branches and one non-government organization.

These include the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, Philippine Information Agency and the Environmental Science for Social Change.

The motion is expected to broaden public access to the geohazard maps which are considered vital in disaster risk reduction and management.

Around 20 tropical cyclones or storms enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility each year, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

This made the country highly vulnerable to weather conditions of greater intensity in terms of wind and rainfall, which triggers widespread flooding and landslides.

Environment chief Ramon Paje has likewise urged the public to be proactive in taking precautionary measures to minimize, or even prevent any adverse impact of calamities in one's family, community and on the country as a whole.

Earlier, ESSC has already established an online facility for the geohazard maps in its website under an agreement between the non-profit research organization and the MGB.

The partnership provides ESSC with digital copies in their best resolution of the 700 geohazard maps at a scale 1:50,000 and those at a scale of 1:10,000 once the densification is completed by 2014.

The MGB is also conducting a series of coastal and marine geohazard survey to determine the approximate rates of changes in the shorelines brought about by coastal erosion or accretion. This helps in identifying potential marine and coastal hazards and its corresponding measures.

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