Thursday, March 18, 2010

Philippines gets 10 Doppler radars

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government on Wednesday said it has acquired 10 new Doppler radars, 5 of which are expected to be fully operational in the next two years.

President Arroyo announced the acquisition in her speech at the 28th anniversary of the Department of Science and Technology's Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development.

In an interview, DOST Undersecretary Graciano Yumul said Doppler radars are useful in providing detailed weather information including intensity and volume of rainfall in the country.

He said the radars still need to undergo debugging to make sure it reaches the standards and picks up signals properly. "Kung baga sa bagong kotse, it has to reach its first 5,000 kilometers to 'break-in,'" he told reporters.

He added that he hopes three Doppler radars in Subic, Baguio and Baler will be operation in time for typhoon season this year.

Officials of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) earlier blamed lack of Doppler radars for its failure to accurately predict the amount of rainfall brought by Typhoons Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma) last September and October.

The twin storms claimed the lives of over a thousand people and destroyed property worth about P38 billion.

PAGASA officials earlier said a Doppler radar costs around P100 million.

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