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Cebu News

Damaged PAGASA equipment can affect forecasts

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in the Visayas has confirmed that its equipment in Medellin town has been damaged by super typhoon Yolanda.

PAGASA Cebu chief Alfredo Quiblat said their marine weather buoy in Madridejos town in Bantayan Island which is worth around P20 million to P30 million was damaged. The buoy is currently being fixed.

Aside from the weather buoy, the agency's Doppler radar in Guiuan, Samar was also destroyed.

Quiblat admitted it would be difficult for PAGASA to give an accurate forecast without the equipment.

"Ang accuracy sa atong weather forecast ma-apektohan gyud. We cannot give enough weather forecasting," Quiblat said during the press briefing organized by the Philippine Information Agency-7 yesterday.

Weather buoys are instruments that collect weather and ocean data within the world's oceans while a doppler radar is a specialized radar that makes use of the Doppler effect to produce velocity data about objects at a distance.

Quiblat said the doppler radar installed in Guiuan, Samar, where super typhoon Yolanda made its first landfall, made it possible for PAGASA to "have a perfect forecast" about the storm because of its ideal location - that is, fronting the Pacific Ocean and directly facing the eye of the typhoon.

However, Quiblat remains optimistic that the existing doppler radar would still be of use. The country ideally needs 15 doppler radars but is now left with nine after the radar in Guiuan, Samar was destroyed.

The radar in Guian, including the infrastructure, which were donated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was worth around P100 million.

By 2015, PAGASA will be installing five more doppler radars in Iloilo, Palawan, Busuanga, Zamboanga and Basco, Batanes.

Quiblat said PAGASA is still assessing the damage caused by Yolanda to its weather stations and equipment, but said the weather stations in Tacloban City and Coron, Palawan were "severely devastated." — /JMO (FREEMAN)

ALFREDO QUIBLAT

BANTAYAN ISLAND

DOPPLER

GEOPHYSICAL AND ASTRONOMICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

GUIUAN

JAPAN INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AGENCY

PACIFIC OCEAN

QUIBLAT

SAMAR

WEATHER

YOLANDA

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