The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan, Philippines to develop extreme weather monitoring, info system

May 17, 2017

Japan is providing assistance to the Philippines for a five-year study that aims to develop extreme weather monitoring and information system to prevent massive loss of lives and properties. Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said during the launching of the project on Wednesday the undertaking amounts to 300 million yen (about P131 million), mostly funded through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. "At the end of five years, the project is expected to establish the methodologies for real time lightning and meteorological observations. So we will have alert and warning systems that will be developed to facilitate dissemination of information on the occurrence of disasters associated with torrential rainfall, flashflood, tornado and landslide. (This) is a big problem that we are addressing," dela Pena said. "I would categorize this project as a mission-oriented  research that is really targeting that particular issue or problem that we are facing," he added. According to Yukihiro Takahashi of the Hokkaido University, there would be two types of observation networks for the research - the dense observation network and the nationwide lightning geolocation system. There will be 50 dense lightning observation network to be installed in Metro Manila, 20 will be put in place within this year starting October, he said. Ten nationwide lightning networks will also be installed, he said. The outcome of the project could also be used in Japan in the future when time comes that it will also experience "too much thunderstorms" that the Philippines is currently experiencing, Takahashi said. Philippine and Japanese researchers will use existing meteorological satellites, including  the Philippines’ Diwata. DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute, the implementing agency, said the project hopes to improve the accuracy of short-term forecast of extreme weather and typhoon intensities in Metro Manila and to disseminate the information to related agencies for use in their disaster risk reduction and management activities such as issuing weather alerts. JICA will provide satellite facilities and train Filipino scientists, mostly from the University of the Philippines, on real time accurate weather forecasting. Hokkaido University, a partner for the project, will send Japanese experts to the Philippines as part of the collaboration. (Celerina Monte/DMS)