Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dr. De Leon collaborates with Japanese Survey Group on Typhoon Haiyan

The Joint Survey Team (Dr. De Leon 3rd from left, standing)
 Dr. Mario De Leon, Associate Professor in the HWR Division of the Department joined a Survey Group on 2013 Typhoon Haiyan on Dec. 5-10, 2013. The survey was organized by the Department of International Development Engineering of Tokyo Institute of Technology headed by Dr. Hiroshi Takagi together with Waseda University, University of Tokyo and Toho University in Japan. The purpose of the survey is to conduct actual investigation on the extent of storm surge that hit the areas of Leyte and Samar specifically Tacloban, Palo, Tanauan, Abuyog, Dulag, Tolosa, Basey, Balangiga, Guiporlos, and Quinapondan. The field survey was conducted to document evidences of storm surge such as water marks, traces of damaged buildings and vegetation and to assess the extent of actual storm surge height. Interviews from the local community and government agencies were also done to gather and validate data and information. The field survey also supports and confirms the numerical simulation of storm surge on November 8 in Leyte and Samar that Dr. Takagi had earlier investigated.

The team that conducted the field survey from December 5-11, 2013 was composed of professors, consultants, graduate students engaged in coastal engineering with the participation from Japan NHK TV news team. Prof. Tomoya Shibayama from Waseda University was the Team Leader, with Prof. Hiroshi Takagi as the Assistant Team Leader, also joined by Prof. Ryo Matsumaru of Toho University, Prof. Miguel Esteban of University of Tokyo and Prof. Nguen Danh Thao of Ho Chi Minh City University. Upon the invitation of Dr. Takagi from TIT. The field survey in Leyte was also in coordination with DPWH Region VIII thru Dir. Rolando Asis. During the visit at DPWH regional office, Asst. Secretary Soguilon together with Asst Regional Director Tabacon gave a short briefing on the areas greatly affected by the typhoon.
The team at Tacloban
Actual field surveys in Leyte and Samar took place from December 5-9, 2013. The areas covered in Leyte were Tacloban, Palo, Tanuan, Abuyog, Dulag, Tolosa, MacArthur, while in Samar were the areas in Basey, Balangiga, Guiporlos, and Quinapondan. Based on the visual traces of water marks, damaged buildings, vegetation measured with reference to the corrected sea level during the typhoon event and interview of the local people, the storm surge heights were in the range of 2 to 7m. The northern part of Cebu was also surveyed on December 10, 2013 particularly in the areas of Medellin, Bogo and Bagay where the storm surge height was estimated at less than 2m.
Presentation of Findings at DLSU with Dean Seva
On December 12, 2013, the Joint Survey Team from Japan side represented by Dr.Takagi, Dr. Matsumaru, Dr. Kumagai, Mr. Mikami visited DLSU for a personal courtesy to the Dean of GCOE, Dr. Rosemary Seva, CE Department Chair Engr. Jason Ongpeng and some CE Department faculty and staff. A presentation was made on the team’s field survey in the different areas and the initial results and findings on storm surge height ranging from 2 to 7m were also shared to the group as well as the overall experience on the scenarios and aftermath of the areas and people struck by typhoon. Delegates from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Toyo University, Waseda University and Pacific Consultants were then awarded certificates as Visiting Scholars by the CE Department for initiating the collaboration with DLSU.
Awarding of Certificates to the Guest Researchers
by CE Dept Chair Jason Ongpeng and Dean Rose Seva
The output of the Joint Survey is to provide assistance and contribution in the coastal disaster mitigation planning in the Philippines as well as in Japan and in other  countries that experience coastal flooding. A journal article is also envisioned to be realized. At present, a manuscript was already submitted to one journal for review. It is also anticipated that a seminar will be conducted by the joint survey team together with government agencies and stakeholders sometime in December 2014, a year after the Typhoon Haiyan, where DLSU is identified as the proposed venue for the seminar.
- Article written by Dr. Mario De Leon

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