PAGASA resumes work in typhoon-hit areas
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has replaced most of the weather equipment destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas and parts of Southern Luzon, officials said Thursday.
PAGASA officer-in-charge Vicente Malano said they have resumed operations in all areas affected by Yolanda, except in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
Strong winds brought by Yolanda damaged the P450-million Doppler radar in Guiuan. It is one of the three radars donated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to PAGASA.
Officials of the weather bureau said JICA will shoulder the rehabilitation of the radar, which serves as the country’s first line of defense against typhoons.
Malano said the agency has incurred P30 million in damage to weather equipment, excluding the meteorological buoy in Cebu.
“We have spare (equipment). We have already replaced our damaged equipment except for the P36-million meteorological buoy installed in Bantayan Island in Cebu,” Malano told The STAR.
Malano said their weather station in Tacloban, Leyte was temporarily transferred to the regional office of the Department of Science and Technology in Palo. PAGASA is an attached agency of the DOST.
Meanwhile, the official said representatives from the United Nations’ World Meteorological Agency will arrive in the country next year to assess the extent of damage by Yolanda to weather instruments.
Malano earlier said the UN agency will provide financial assistance to PAGASA for the repair of its facilities.