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News Picks : Philippines expands disaster risk advisory program

By: Physics Today
12 January 2016
SciDev.net: Because the Philippines experiences some 20 typhoons per year, a number that may grow because of climate change, the country started a new flood advisory program in 2012. Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM) uses airplanes to fly over the island nation and lidar instruments to map its terrain. The high-resolution data gathered are then used to create detailed topographical maps whose resolution is accurate up to 20 cm, better than the images taken by satellites. Of particular interest are the low-lying areas, which are the most vulnerable to flooding. The DREAM data and hazard maps, which have been made open source and downloadable online, can then be used by local governments to develop flood advisory systems and implement new legislation, such as better zoning laws. The program has proven so successful that neighboring countries, such as East Timor, are working with the DREAM team to develop their own programs.

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