By Antonio L. Colina IV
SMARTPHONE users are encouraged to make use of the mobile application of the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards, also known as Project Noah, amid threats of flooding in the Davao Region.
Eric Colmenares, science research specialist of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Davao region, said such mobile application is a very usable tool since it will update smartphone users on weather disturbances which may happen at any given time of the day.
“It would be better if more people will be using the application,” he said.
Project Noah is a brainchild of DOST in hope to “promote and integrate advanced science and technology to enhance disaster management and prevention capacity of the Philippine government.”
In its website, http://noah.dost.gov.ph, it said that Project Noah is aimed at mitigating the impact of natural hazards like typhoons and flooding and thus reduce casualties and property loss.
He said Project Noah mobile application can give smartphone users a three-hour lead time on the “probability of rain.”
“All they have to do is to set their apps, for example, if it breaches 50 percent chance of rainfall, it will notify the users,” he said. “At least, you will know if it’s going to rain or not.”
Project Noah mobile can work on Android and iOS platforms.
Rolly Rulete, a Davao City-based developer who made the Project Noah mobile on Android, said its rain alert system will notify the users whenever there’s a big possibility of rain in their location.
This mobile app, however, works with an internet connection, but it is equipped with an offline support, which means it will automatically download data which can be used as reference.
Its mobile version will open to a Philippine map where users will enable visualization and interactive display of weather components such as satellites, doppler radars, contours, weather conditions, rain gauges, and stream/river gauges.
“I made it to be fully featured weather/disaster app and it’s mobile-friendly. I designed it purely Android by look retaining mostly Project Noah’s (website) functionality,” he said.
Colmenares said DOST has even intensified its efforts to put in place the necessary equipment for typhoons possible to make landfall in Mindanao.
DOST is set to install six water level sensors and three automated rain gauges. The water level sensors will be installed in Davao River, Talomo River and Matina Pangi River while the automated rain gauges, in Suwawan Bridge, Tamugan Bridge, Calinan Bridge, Mintal Bridge, Waan Bridge, and Matina Pangi Bridge.
He said through Project Noah, flood-prone cities and municipalities can update their constituents on the water levels of the rivers and thus they can evacuate way ahead of time if rivers swell.
He added that two doppler radars are installed in two stations in Mindanao, one in Tampakan, South Cotabato and the other in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
With doppler radars, people can enable to see the movement of clouds and which part are experiencing heavy rains.
Colmenares said the data from the doppler radar station in Hinatuan is what is being used as reference in Davao Region area.
This article was originally published in Sunstar.com.ph on August 28, 2013