Thursday, August 2, 2012

Typhoon Gener and Project NOAH

Project NOAH online 
(MANILA, Philippines)“Siyam-siyam” a Filipino idiomatic expression commonly used by oldies to say that things are taking too long like that of typhoon Gener which is taking so long to leave Philippines. Literally, it means nine days and nine nights which is not the normal typhoon characteristic we usually encounter.
This typhoon takes too long to leave the country and hopefully by today the forecast to go away will happen soon. More than two days, it’s been on TV that Naic, Cavite resort areas were destroyed by this typhoon and so with other places in Cavite; extreme flood in Navotas,  Malabon, Valenzuela, some parts of Bulacan like Obando and Calumpit; Laguna, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental to name some areas where typhoon Gener was felt with so much flood and destruction. 

With the Project NOAH every single detail to inform the public and the decision makers in the local government was undertaken. The Doppler radar located in Zambales helped in assisting PAGASA to send tweets every now and then to media practitioners and public too. 

Just recently, Project NOAH or Project National Operational Assessment Hazards and Risk (NOAH) was introduced by President Benigno S. Aquino III in Nangka Del Covered Court, Balubad Resettlement Phase II, Barangay Nangka, Marikina City. The place was chosen because it was fully inundated by Typhoon Ondoy in 2009, with some heads of national agencies, Disaster and Risk Management government team and advocates, and with local leaders of Taguig City. 

A proactive project, NOAH intends to send warnings to Filipinos all over the country especially to vulnerable areas in order to save lives and properties. Philippines is one of the countries normally visited by typhoons, sometimes with tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and these could be devastating. 

Like Noah’s ark in biblical times, it rescued lives to those who believed that there will be flood. Noah then informed everyone in his times to come to his ark to be saved.

Natural hazards cause loss of lives and damage to property with economic losses amounting to billions of pesos each year.

In this project, the key agencies and personalities are provided with facts ready for an informed decision before, during and after disasters that utilizes advanced science and technology tools to come up with enhanced exposure maps and a shortened six-hour monitoring and warning system for communication along the major river basins.

NOAH having its eight components to address major needs in various disaster situations such as Hydrometer Sensors Development, Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment for Mitigation (DREAM), Flood Information Network (FLOODNET), Weather Hazard Information Project (WHIP), Enhacing Geo-hazards Mapping through LIDAR, Local Development Doppler Radar Systems (LaDDeRS), Coastal Hazards and Storm Surge Assessment and Mitigation (CHASSAM) and Landslide Sensors Development Project.

The Department of Science and Technology leads the task with 21 institutions in close alliances including DOST’s PAGASA, PHILVOCS, Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI), and Science and Technology Information Institute (STII), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences and Department. 

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