Sensing Device to Forecast Landslides

Researchers at the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute of the University of the Philippines have developed a sensor to forecast landslides. The Landslide Early Warning System was launched by the science and technology secretary, Mario Montejo.

The group, working with geologists from the university, is conducting field tests in the Benguet province. The system will be deployed in areas that are most prone to landslides, especially in the eastern regions. The country has been subjected to excessive rains this year because of  La Nina that has cooled the surface of the Pacific Ocean. The system will transmit quick and hourly data from each site to the control rooms situated at the university and PAGASA labs. The system incorporates sensing devices housed in segmented tubes to map movements below the ground.

A simulation conducted at the laboratory revealed that it took an actual landslide ten minutes to occur from the time the first tremor was felt at the foot of a hill. The system is partly placed under a land mass, while another part is fixed at the top. The sensor at the bottom sends a signal when it senses a tremor to a control monitor situated on the slope of the hill. The sensor has a small chip that transmits all the data to the lab. The system will include gauges to measure rain and water level, besides weather monitoring stations.


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