With more than 20 typhoons impacting the Philippines on average each year the need for emergency management planning is apparent. To support this effort the Philippine Light Detection and Ranging (Phil-LiDAR) research project, started in 2014 was initiated by the University of the Philippines Diliman’s Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) Program.
The program, funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), rolled out nationwide by partnering with higher education institutions in different regions as partners. in this case a research team from the Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte produced hazard and resource maps for about 40 municipalities and cities from the provinces of Leyte, Southern Leyte, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Northern Samar.
On May 26, VSU Phil-LiDAR 1 and 2 projects turned over high resolution maps, and data in CDs to representatives of local government units in the 5 provinces of Region 8 after 3 years of research.
The flood hazard maps, produced by Phil-LiDAR 1, contain information on predicted flood depth and risk levels in areas close to river basins. The resource maps, produced by Phil-LiDAR 2, reflect the agricultural, forestry, coastal resources of a municipality or city, as well as potential renewable energy sources, and hydrologic data.
“The project both acquired aerial and elevation topography, and ground surveys to produce digital elevation models and come up with the flood hazard maps,” said UP Diliman Phil-LiDAR 1 Chief Science Research Specialist Christopher Uichanco.
Uichanco said he is hopeful that VSU’s outputs can help local government units (LGUs) create comprehensive flood advisory systems and design mitigation measures based on the data from the provided maps.