PAGASA, Project Noah credited for zero casualties in Marikina (Manila Bulletin)

By Francis T. Wakefield
Published: August 23, 2013


Officials in Marikina City praised the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) and Project Noah, for the zero fatality and efficient rescue and relief operations in the city in the midst of heavy rains brought by the Southwest Monsoon and Typhoon “Maring”.

Marikina Congressman Miro Quimbo and Marikina City Mayor Del De Guzman attributed the timely, accurate, and effective response of the local government unit to the onslaught of the typhoon to the precise warnings, substantial information, and ample lead time provided by Project NOAH/PAGASA to Marikina City.

“Marikina receives the brunt of rains and floodwaters from San Mateo, Antipolo, and Montalban, which inundates us in such a speed that often result to fatalities and massive economic losses. In times of typhoons, the people and local officials essentially operate blindly in the absence of information as to the amount of rainfall and estimated time of impact. We are either caught off guard, which results to deaths and destruction of property; or we overreact and conduct massive evacuation, which unnecessarily depletes the city’s resources,” Qumbo said.

But the Marikina solon said this changed when the national government provided the local government units with a potent tool to adjust and cope with typhoons through Project NOAH/PAGASA.

He said through Project NOAH, relocation of families in flood-prone areas has also become more efficient and systematic.

Project NOAH, he said, gives the officials and residents between 3-6 hour lead time which allow them to carry out an orderly evacuation.

De Guzman, on the other hand, said through Project Noah, it helped the people protect themselves from calamities.

“There are no recorded casualties as of now in Marikina. We are not yet claiming victory, but we are hopeful that with this new tool given by the national government through PAGASA, we will survive this calamity without casualties,” De Guzman said.

The Marikina leaders also highlighted the benefits of a dynamic synergy between the
national government and LGUs.

De Guzman and Quimbo said the NG and LGUs had a shared vision of disaster prevention and mitigation and this was realized when the President gave the local officials a potent tool through project NOAH.

“Disaster risk reduction management will only be effective if you have the proper tools and programs like the Project NOAH. Projects like these are worthy investments, as it gives us the information that is required in order to properly address the immediate needs of people during the typhoon. In effect, the government can act more efficiently,” Quimbo stressed.

Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) is a program of the national government as response to the strict orders of President Benigno Aquino III to put in place a responsive program for disaster prevention and mitigation that will provide lead time warning to vulnerable communities against impending floods. (Francis T. Wakefield)

-Number of evacuees in Marikina goes down-

As this developed, the number of families staying in various evacuation centers in Marikina City further went down Friday.

Paul Sison, chief of the city’s Public Information Office (PIO), said as of 8 a.m. Friday, the number of families still in evacuation centers is down to
1,209 families (5,815 individuals)

Sison said the affected families are currently staying in 10 evacuation centers namely:

  1. San Roque Elem. School – 5 families/85 persons (5:20 p.m., Aug.22)
  2. Marikina Elem. School – 12 families/ 53 persons (10:53 p.m., Aug.22)
  3. H. Bautista Elem. School – 233 families/1,028 persons (7:35 p.m., Aug.22)
  4. Concepcion Elem. School – 241 families/1,069 persons (3:30 p.m., Aug.22)
  5. Marikina High School – 141 families/548 persons (5:00 a.m., Aug.22)
  6. Concepcion Integrated School – 226 families/1,001 persons (3:30 p.m., Aug.22)
  7. Sampaguita Village – 5 families/20 persons (10:25 p.m., Aug.22)
  8. Libis Bulelak Gymnasium – 170 families/955 persons (10:00 p.m.,Aug.22)
  9. Malanday Elem. School – 30 families/180 persons (6:45 p.m., Aug.22)
  10. Filipinas Village (Malanday) – 146 families/876 persons (3:30 p.m., Aug.22)

Sison also said that as of 10:25 a.m. Friday, the water level at Marikina River is down to 14.1 meters which is a normal level.


This article was originally published in Manila Bulletin on August 23, 2013

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