DOST-CAR to launch interactive landslide management portal in Aug

The Department of Science and Technology in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) on Tuesday urged residents to contribute information on landslides in their area through an interactive management portal which will open to the public in August. DOST-CAR Regional Director Nancy Bantog said in a phone interview that information collected through this portal can be used by disaster risk reduction management implementers and researchers to improve the region’s readiness and resilience against landslides. She said aside from indigenous knowledge and actual ground conditions, the public can also provide situation reports on areas in their neighborhoods that they think are prone to landslides. They can share the information through an interactive landslide management center. “Everybody can share information because the center is interactive and has an online portal where the public can share information. For these kinds of information, our experts have to first verify before they are officially placed in the system as a resource material,” Bantog said. The official said the landslide management portal, operated by the University of the Philippines-Baguio’s Research Center, will become accessible online starting in August. “Finishing touches na ang online portal at hopefully maging accessible by August (we are in the finishing touches of the online portal and we hope to make it accessible by August),” Bantog said. She added that landslides are a common natural calamity in Cordillera due to its topography as a mountain region. The most recent major landslide in the region happened in September 2018 at the height of Typhoon Ompong, when scores of people were buried alive in a mining community in Itogon, Benguet. Several landslides were also logged in other areas of Benguet. This was followed by the landslide in Natonin, Mountain Province that buried several people who took refuge in a building when another typhoon hit the Cordillera in October of the same year. Both incidents occurred after several days of continuous rains that drenched the soil and caused it to collapse. “We continue to study and list areas that have historically shown signs or have experiences of landslides and earth movements that have led to landslides, to guide our lawmakers and our people so that they will not commit the mistake of exposing themselves to possible danger, ” the director said. Bantog also said that identifying possible landslide areas will enable them to install early warning devices and guide the public

Source: Philippines News Agency