The province of Catanduanes passed a resolution on 13 March 2017 congratulating the University of the Philippines (UP) for adopting the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH).
The resolution includes a commendation for the university’s decision, as well as the recognition that the tools developed by NOAH have helped in mitigating the ill effects of disasters in the Philippines since its inception in 2012. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Catanduanes notes that the continuation of the NOAH program would benefit the Philippines, particularly the Bicol Region and the province of Catanduanes.
On February 23, 2017, the UP Board of Regents (BOR) announced the university’s adoption of NOAH upon the completion of its most recent project funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST). A recent Executive Order signed by UP President Danilo L. Concepcion, (EO PLDC 17-03), established the NOAH Center as a research institute in the UP System. Plans for the implementation of UP NOAH Center are still underway.
This follows the significant impact of Typhoon Nina (international name: Nock-ten) on the province in the previous year. It barreled through the southern portion of Luzon during the holiday season of 2016. Catanduanes was the one of the hardest hit provinces by the typhoon. It bore the brunt of Nina’s first of eight landfalls on Christmas day.
According to the NDRRMC SitRep, 33,529 families were affected in Catanduanes, with over 19,000 partially damaged homes and over 7,000 houses completely destroyed. Power and communications were also halted in the region. Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Manny Piñol also stated that of the 33,130 hectares of abaca fields in Catanduanes, a total of 27,936 hectares were heavily damaged by Nina.
Despite this, the province experienced zero casualties during the severe weather event—over 6,000 families were reported to have been evacuated preemptively.
Nina is considered the strongest tropical cyclone to hit Bicol since Typhoon Reming in 2006 (See: Reming (2006) Landslide in Albay).