Tablets join fight against Philippines weather disasters (gulfnews.com)

By Gilbert P. Felongco, Correspondent
Published: 14:09 July 26, 2013

‘Noah’ and ‘Moses’ will provide real-time updates and flood information reports

Manila: Officials across the country are to be equipped with tablet computers as part of the government’s disaster-mitigation measures.

The Department of Science and Technology (Dost) has launched the project called Moses, which is short for Mobile Operational System for Emergency Services.

“Moses is a tablet is capable of receiving real-time weather and flood information reports from Dost’s Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) and Project Noah, that local officials down to the barangay [village] level can access for accurate decision-making to prevent massive destruction and casualties,” Dost said.

The Philippines is battered every year by typhoons and other extreme weather systems and Noah and Moses — the biblical reference in its names is apparently intended — are aimed at serving as a strong line of defence against the destructive weather and to prevent casualties.

Noah refers to Dost’s Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, a system of weather and flooding forecasting systems using the internet and Pagasa’s Doppler radar network.

The Moses 8-inch mobile tablet was designed locally with the chipset and circuit boards to ensure the availability of spare parts as well as service support. It has a dual SIM function, television and radio component and is packaged in a rugged shell casing with a long-life battery that can last up to three days.

Moses provides Doppler radar sensor data, water level sensor data and measurements gathered from gauges strategically located in different high-risk areas. A hazard map that is updated in real time is provided in the tablet.
Noah and Moses are both inventions of Dr. Alfredo Mahar Lagmay and are intended to be used to map out courses of action based on the information provided by the system.

Dost say they intend to provide 42,028 villages with the tablets, but initially 1,000 devices will be distributed to different local government units in Metro Manila as a pilot scheme.

Dost said Moses and Noah may be the answer to scientifically managing disasters and allow Filipinos to rise above the floods.

This article was originally published in Gulfnews.com on July 26, 2013.

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