Articles | Volume 15, issue 3
Research article
12 Mar 2015
Research article |  | 12 Mar 2015

Probabilistic storm surge inundation maps for Metro Manila based on Philippine public storm warning signals

J. Tablazon, C. V. Caro, A. M. F. Lagmay, J. B. L. Briones, L. Dasallas, J. P. Lapidez, J. Santiago, J. K. Suarez, C. Ladiero, L. A. Gonzalo, M. T. F. Mungcal, and V. Malano

Abstract. A storm surge is the sudden rise of sea water over the astronomical tides, generated by an approaching storm. This event poses a major threat to the Philippine coastal areas, as manifested by Typhoon Haiyan on 8 November 2013. This hydro-meteorological hazard is one of the main reasons for the high number of casualties due to the typhoon, with 6300 deaths. It became evident that the need to develop a storm surge inundation map is of utmost importance. To develop these maps, the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-Project NOAH) simulated historical tropical cyclones that entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility. The Japan Meteorological Agency storm surge model was used to simulate storm surge heights. The frequency distribution of the maximum storm surge heights was calculated using simulation results of tropical cyclones under a specific public storm warning signal (PSWS) that passed through a particular coastal area. This determines the storm surge height corresponding to a given probability of occurrence. The storm surge heights from the model were added to the maximum astronomical tide data from WXTide software. The team then created maps of inundation for a specific PSWS using the probability of exceedance derived from the frequency distribution. Buildings and other structures were assigned a probability of exceedance depending on their occupancy category, i.e., 1% probability of exceedance for critical facilities, 10% probability of exceedance for special occupancy structures, and 25% for standard occupancy and miscellaneous structures. The maps produced show the storm-surge-vulnerable areas in Metro Manila, illustrated by the flood depth of up to 4 m and extent of up to 6.5 km from the coastline. This information can help local government units in developing early warning systems, disaster preparedness and mitigation plans, vulnerability assessments, risk-sensitive land use plans, shoreline defense efforts, and coastal protection measures. These maps can also determine the best areas to build critical structures, or at least determine the level of protection of these structures should they be built in hazard areas. Moreover, these will support the local government units' mandate to raise public awareness, disseminate information about storm surge hazards, and implement appropriate countermeasures for a given PSWS.

Final-revised paper