INAIGEM installs real time monitoring system for Lake Palcacocha

A s part of its research functions in glacier and lake dangers, the National Institute of Glacier and Mountain Ecosystem Research (INAIGEM) has developed a real time monitoring system for Lake Palcacocha. This information was shared three days ago at the College of Engineers of Peru by members of the INAIGEM. The installation of the pilot system was carried out in the last weeks, using WIFIMAX technology, with the purpose of monitoring Palcacocha. The lake is  considered dangerous due to the imminent threat it represents for the city of Huaraz in terms of a possible glacial lake outburst flood.

The system consists of three communication towers that transmit data in real time. During, during the last two weeks, high quality images in HD were recorded 24 hours a day. Each of the towers measures nine metres in height and includes communication equipment such as data transmission and reception antennas, radios, batteries and solar panels. The development of this system is the product of the initiative and dedication of INAIGEM professionals, who, using technology and information, have managed to come up with an alternative solution for the people of Huaraz. In addition, this great contribution could be the backbone for an early warning system that, with the correct political will, can be included in a short time. The installation of the communication tower on the moraine dike of Palcacocha took place between the 16th and 18th of December of last year whereas another tower in the Churup area was installed between the 21st and 23rd of December. A third tower was installed on the rooftop of the INAIGEM headquarters on Jr. Juan Bautista in Huaraz, which also counts with a communication server and control system.

Last year in January, authorities and officials of Huaraz, the district of Independencia and the Regional Government of Ancash, as well as Congressman Ricardo Narváez Soto, visited Lake Palcacocha with the purpose of establishing actions that allow providing the so much needed security to the population before a possible glacial lake outburst flood. Other objectives of the visit were to inspect the water resource and, in the near future, to promote tourism spaces. Also present were members of the Mountain Institute in Huaraz, members of Civil Defense, the National Park Huascarán and Care Peru. Directed by the Natural Resources and Environment Management department of the Regional government of Ancash, an inspection and implementation of commitments were carried out, which verified maintenance work, tasks for the Early Warning System, and other activities that require the participation of decision makers.

Photo: INAIGEM
Author: Julio Benavidez

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