Science Secretary Mario Montejo is directing all agencies involved in Yolanda rehabilitation to secure all scientific information they need at the Yolanda Rehabilitation Scientific Information Center (YORINFOCENTER). Located at the University of the Philippines National Engineering Center n Diliman, Quezon City, the said Center makes it easier for other government agencies, including local government units, and humanitarian organizations to get scientific data that could help them in rehabilitating Eastern Visayas and its environs affected by the typhoon.

Since its launch on May 17 this year, YORINFOCENTER has facilitated the release to stakeholders of scientific data, such as like LiDAR topographic maps and multi-hazard maps from both the Department of Environment and Natural Resources - Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the DOST, and the latest satellite images of the Yolanda-devastated areas.

Montejo said the creation of YORINFOCENTER is part of the DOST’s commitment to make sure that the people are benefitted by its technological and research outputs. The Center was established in partnership with the DENR.

“We continue to process many of the data to produce hazards maps for flood, landslide and storm surges. Just recently, we completed the new multi-hazard map for Tacloban and other areas.”

“The DOST and the DENR have been using these information for the Yolanda effort but we have been getting numerous inquiries from many groups for these data that’s why we have decided to come up with this center as a one-stop information shop,” the DOST chief explained.

Geodetic Engineer Sarah Jane Samalburo of NOAH DREAM Project, who was tasked to take charge of YORINFOCENTER’s operation, said they have been able to help a lot of government and private entities in securing hazards maps.

She said that while they have received numerous requests from government agencies and the private sector, only a few have come from local government units.

YORINFOCENTER urges local government units to get copies of their maps so that they may be able to identify the most vulnerable and the safest points in their areas.

These maps, she said, could help in drawing effective strategies for disaster preparedness and resiliency in Eastern Visayas.

YORINFOCENTER is manned by experts from DOST-Project NOAH and DREAM, PAGASA, Phivocs, and the Mines and Geosciences Bureau of the DENR. It can also be consulted for information, data and any other technical support relative to the scientific datasets it is providing for the on-going rehab of areas devastated by typhoon Yolanda. (S&T Media Service)

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