(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Wednesday, 24 April 2024) Easterlies affecting the country. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience Partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due to Easterlies/Localized Thunderstorms. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. 𝗙𝗒π—₯π—˜π—–π—”π—¦π—§ π—ͺπ—œπ—‘π—— 𝗔𝗑𝗗 π—–π—’π—”π—¦π—§π—”π—Ÿ π—ͺπ—”π—§π—˜π—₯ π—–π—’π—‘π——π—œπ—§π—œπ—’π—‘: Light to moderate winds coming from East to Southeast will prevail with slight to moderate seas (0.6 to 2.1 meters).

Monday, 26 February 2024

Mobile operations vehicle strengthens communication in disaster-prone Caraga

By Renelle Escuadro

BUTUAN CITY (PIA) – The Department of Information and Communications Technology has deployed a Mobile Operations Vehicle for Emergency (MOVE) in the Caraga region. 

The initiative, under the Government Emergency Communications System (GECS) project, aims to enable disaster-prone areas to have an off-grid communications capability.

The diagram shows the pivotal participation of GECS MOVE in the delivery of information and communication to DICT, disaster management councils, responders, local government units and other stakeholders. Photo courtesy of DICT-13. 

According to Engr. Lawrence P. Salang, team leader of Caraga GECS, “since Caraga is a disaster-prone region, we ensure the GECS-MOVE is all-time ready for deployment, as this is currently on standby at DICT Caraga Regional Office.”

“After Super Typhoon Odette, this facility continues to be operational, and it served the communities during the disasters in the region, like the magnitude 7.4 earthquake in Surigao del Sur on December 2023, and the recent flooding in Agusan del Sur due to the trough of low pressure area,” Salang said. 

This rapidly deployable asset is capable of bridging communication gaps between responders.

The MOVE operation hub is equipped with its own power system, including a solar energy source for charging mobile devices and other ICT equipment. It serves as the heart of the integrated communications system, which is in sync with the Emergency Operations Center of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in Camp Aguinaldo or the DICT Central Office in Quezon City.

The MOVE is capable of independently sending critical information such as location of evacuation areas, warning messages and public service announcements via text messages.

The MOVE truck is backed up by a specially-equipped motorcycle that can relay communications traffic in hard-to-reach areas.

It is also equipped with two heavy duty drones or an unmanned aerial vehicle that can carry out search operations, aerial photography, filming, and delivering goods, among others.

To ensure resilience and continuity in the dissemination of information and communication, which is significant during disasters, the MOVE truck is converged in a technology-based telecommunications system equipped with radios on high, very high, and ultra-high frequencies, satellite phone, Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN), microwave radio (IP), very small aperture terminal (VSAT) , very/ultra-high frequency (V/UHF) repeater, access point/Wi-Fi and base transceiver station with 5G capability.

Aside from Caraga, the DICT has deployed MOVE trucks in Quezon City, Batangas City, Mabalacat City in Pampanga, Tacloban City, and Davao del Sur.

GECS-MOVE operates in a modern technology-based telecommunications system ensuring that this facility remains operational in the face of disaster. It ensures coordination among responders in the local, provincial, and even national government response clusters is supported by this temporary but reliable structure. Photo courtesy of DICT-13.

Regional Director Mario P. Cunado of DICT Caraga reiterated the significance of GECS-MOVE in the agency’s integral role in disaster management.

“As the lead agency of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster of the Caraga Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC), DICT ensures to provide communication connectivity during emergencies, effective and timely emergency telecommunications services to support other clusters in carrying out their respective mandates safely and efficiently, reconnaissance data collection such as videos and images, taken from the affected or disaster areas, to be used by the Incident Commander for decision-making and early warning messages and critical information to the affected citizenry to facilitate immediate evacuation when necessary,” Dir. Cunado underscored. (RLE/PIA-Caraga with a report from DICT-13)