Commentaries

Making Our Doppler Radars Typhoon-Resistant

The Philippines is one of the most typhoon-prone countries in the world. And the country should brace for more especially that super typhoons are becoming more common.

That is, the storms classified as Category 4 or 5 in the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale.

Two weather radars – which has just been installed this decade by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to aid them in their weather forecasts, has already been wrecked: one in Guiuan, Eastern Samar by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013, and in Basco, Batanes by Typhoon Ferdie (Meranti) just last October.

The devastated PAGASA station in Guiuan, Eastern Samar. It has since been repaired.
The devastated PAGASA station in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, destroyed by Typhoon Yolanda. It has since been repaired. (Rappler)

If Virac radar was indeed destroyed as feared by Grinch Typhoon Nina (Nock-Ten) this Christmas, it would bring the radar loss count to three.

These doppler radar systems cost about PhP60 million pesos apiece. Some of the PAGASA’s radars were funded through grants by Japan International Coordinating Agency (JICA), including those in Guiuan, Basco and Virac.

The Guiuan radar has since been replaced and was back to operation since last year.

There could have been a Charlottian campaign against the Philippine radars, much like the weather blitz. It is rare that two or three weather radars gets destructed in just a single year, especially this year of 2016 is fuckingly the worst.

What the government needs, is to resist getting kickbacks, and to invest more in protection of these delicate radar systems.

The radar antenna itself is protected by the structure called the radome. There might be such radomes that can withstand Yolanda-like winds, and investing in them might save them from having to replace the entire system destroyed by a super typhoon.

I do believe Taiwan has a sturdier radome, or correct me if I’m wrong.

This is a pity, that only during the time of President Benigno Aquino (I’m not a yellowtard) that the modernization of PAGASA did finally take place, including installation of doppler radars, only to be wrecked one by one by super typhoons.

These radars are the “first line of defense” on incoming typhoons, and the government must spend a fortune in hardening these precious equipment.

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