MANILA, Philippines - A professor of the University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS) said many residents of New Bataan, Compostela Valley might have been placed in danger during Typhoon Pablo because they did not know which areas were safe.
Prof. Mahar Lagmay revealed authorities were not able to find a geohazard map for Compostela Valley. He said it was only during a simulation conducted yesterday that they found out that New Bataan is a flood-prone area.
"Based on our research yesterday, it was not shown as a flood-prone area. However, we are still conducting research. We might have missed the map that would show that but in the absence of our finding one yesterday we actually made one or created one. It showed that the area of New Bataan is a flood hazard," he told ANC's Dateline Philippines.
Lagmay said authorities prepared ahead of the typhoon by evacuating residents near the river and in areas that had previously been hit by landslides. He said one of the factors that may have caused deaths in Compostela Valley is that the residents did not know where to evacuate.
"When they went to the places they thought were free from hazards, they miscalculated. We are trying to complete the hazard maps. We may have regional scale maps but [the maps] probably won't suffice and that's the reason why we have Project NOAH, to make detailed, topographic maps on which we can conduct computer simulations where we can create scenarios of floods on different kinds of rain events," he said.
ANC Dateline Philippines, December 6, 2012