July 17, 2019
The Department of Science and Technology (DoST) launched an online application that provides scientific information on hazards and risk assessment to help in disaster management and resilience.
Dubbed “Hazard Hunter Philippines,” the tool provides hazard maps that show assessment and recommendation not only on earthquakes, but also on volcanic eruptions and activities and hydro-meteorological information such as flooding and landslides and storm surge
DoST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said the app aims to help disaster management units and the public to prepare and mitigate the effects of natural hazards.
“We hope that we will be able to use Hazard Hunter Philippines and share this information so that we can make our communities, our country more disaster resilient,” de la Peña said.
The online application, which can be accessed at https://hazardhunter.georisk.gov.ph, was launched 29 years after a magnitude 7.8-earthquake in 1990, which killed 2,412 people and wrecked buildings and infrastructure, including the Hyatt Hotel in Baguio City.
“The 1990s strong earthquake has since bolstered research on active fault mapping and proactive assessment service” de la Peña said, adding that the online application had been a long-term effort of various government agencies under the GeoRiskPH such as the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau.
The application may also be used as a reference of property owners, buyers, land developers, planners and other stakeholders needing immediate hazard information and assessment.
DoST Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Affairs Rene Solidum said the online tool was an efficient one-stop shop for various hazard information.
“We are offering a solution, [it will] just take less than a minute, more accurate and more efficient,” Solidum said.
Aside from the hazard assessment, de la Peña said the app provides other vital information such as public schools, health facilities and road network.
“We need to improve the way we do things, we need to reinvent, to innovate. That’s why Hazard Hunter Philippines application does not merely show hazard maps, but it also shows exposure data like the location of critical facilities like schools, our hospitals, our road systems as provided by the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways) that enables the users to easily find a site safety or proneness to various hazards,” de la Peña said.
De la Peña said the DoST was looking into adding more innovations such as adding fire hazard and heat index maps.
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