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Severe wind hazard maps and local wind hazard maps designed for 78 provinces and 41 provinces, respectively, may be used by the local government units (LGUs) in 2021, an official from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said Thursday.

This is under a three-part project supported and funded by the DOST-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), and is being made by a team of researchers from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), and the University of the Philippines-Institute of Civil Engineering.

"Severe wind hazard maps show places that are most susceptible to severe wind conditions. This is different according to location, elevation, probability of typhoon passage, and geographic conditions," PCIEERD executive director Enrico Paringit told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

The local wind hazard maps, on the other hand, will focus on specific conditions like height and composition of buildings, he added.

Paringit said the three-part project would run from 2019-2021, with a budget of PHP29.52 million. The target is to complete the project by May 2021.

"These (maps) were not yet mainstreamed for LGU use. These might also be used for research purposes, testing and validation," he said.

He said these maps will be useful for LGUs, especially with regard to building of structures. "The LGUs are the ones who craft land use plans, approve building permits, and issue location clearances. (Thus) they could issue restrictions or impose modifications on construction building design in areas found susceptible to severe wind to reduce risks of damages," Paringit said.

"The LGUs can also advise existing structures to retrofit to reduce wind load and hence, mitigate damages," he added.

The maps will be integrated to the GeoRiskPhilippines Initiative project of the DOST. This project is a geographic information system (GIS) that integrates hazard maps, exposure data, and have these accessed by the public and government agencies.

Once these maps are made available, Paringit said there will be capacity building for LGUs on how to use and interpret these, as well as how these can be applied in LGU work, Paringit said.

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