Real-time rain data access pushed

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The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Saturday stressed that local government units (LGU) should have access to real-time rainfall data to help them in their disaster response and evacuation plans.

In a radio interview, NDRRMC Director and Defense Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad said among the lessons learned after the onslaught of typhoon “Usman “is that rain gauge data should be accessible to the LGU.

“It is important for the LGU to get the real-time rainfall accumulation on areas that are being affected,” Jalad said.

“The LGU should have direct access to those gauges so that they can be informed on the accumulated rainfall in their area,” he added.

The NDRRMC official said having real-time rainfall accumulation data could help LGU in making crucial decisions during calamities.

Having real-time data can help in their decision-making and any plans for evacuation. It will also help to calibrate the LGU’s decision points on when and where they should evacuate people,” Jalad said.

He noted that at present, many LGU are having a hard time making decisions as they rely mostly on the heavy rainfall advisory of the state weather bureau PAGASA.

“It’s hard for the LGU to base their decisions only on the heavy rainfall advisory because sometimes, some areas are still not experiencing rain when the advisory comes and so the tendency is that some residents refuse to evacuate,” Jalad said.

Based on the official data from the NDRRMC as of 6 a.m. Saturday, the number of fatalities reported due to “Usman” climbed to 126 persons, with 26 missing and 60 injured.

A total of 140, 105 families or 624, 236 persons were affected in 876 barangay in Regions V, VII, Calabarzon and Mimaropa.

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