Wednesday 23rd of July 2014
MANILA, July 23 – Two years after the launch of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards or Project NOAH in July 6, 2012 in Marikina City, the program has considerably made significant milestones in the area of disaster preparedness and mitigation.
After the directive of President Benigno S. Aquino III for government to implement a comprehensive disaster preparedness and mitigation program that would allow warning agencies to deliver information on weather through early warning for early action, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) created the Project NOAH.
“It is the aim of Project NOAH to provide accurate and timely weather information that will allow us a six-hour lead time and rainfall forecast to give the people enough time to evacuate and do the necessary actions to prevent damage to properties and loss of lives,” Secretary Mario G. Montejo said.
During the 2nd anniversary celebration of Project NOAH at the PAGASA Main Lobby Sec. Montejo also disclosed that Project NOAH was created made using local technology and developed by Filipino scientists for the Filipino people.
“We are able to harness Filipino talent in Project NOAH particularly in the hydromet sensors we have installed all over the country. The Advanced Science and Technology Institute of the DOST is the one responsible for the local fabrication of almost 1,000 automated rain gauges, water level sensors and weather stations installed in the 18 major river basins,” Montejo said.
Also in attendance was the DRRMO Head of Marikina City Dr. Val Barcinal who gave his testimony on how NOAH was instrumental during the habagat episode and succeeding typhoon events in achieving zero-casualty in the city.
“The Project NOAH website is one of the information dissemination platforms designed by the government to mitigate and prevent disaster. These benefits were obtained from Project NOAH. Like in the Book of Genesis, it was a saving grace for the City of Marikina,” said Dr. Barcinal.
With the Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation or DREAM project under the Project NOAH, all the 18 major river systems have been surveyed and data collected to create flood hazard maps. To this date, 5,060 barangays have already flood hazard maps out of the 18,000 barangays covered by the LiDAR data gathering.The flood hazard maps will help barangays pinpoint the specific areas in their locality that are safe and unsafe for evacuation and relocation sites.
Another project under NOAH, called Weather Information-Integration for Systems Enhancement or WISE, now provides 7-day weather forecast enhanced from data gathered from PAGASA. NOAH WISE committed to soon come up with seasonal forecast six months in advance.
“With the 7-day forecast we are able to provide valuable information to the public that will be very useful in the everyday life of Mang Juan and Aling Maria. Later when we can do seasonal forecasts, our farmers will be informed of what crops to plant and when is the best time to plant, thereby increasing agricultural productivity,” Montejo stated. (DOST/PIA-Caraga)
This article was originally published in the PIA news website on July 23, 2014.