By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
Posted at 07/06/2012 2:42 PM | Updated as of 07/06/2012 5:11 PM
President Aquino was at Barangay Nangka in Marikina for the launching of project NOAH or the Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards. A project of the Department of Science and Technology, it mainly provides information about the weather and other hazard-related information such as the probability or rains and the extent of flooding in any specific neighborhood in the event of a storm. It has a website (noah.dost.gov.ph) that can show the track of the storm, the amount of rainfall, and how high the expected flood will be in an area with the use of flood maps. All these based on information gathered from automatic weather stations installed in different parts of the country, such as rain gauges and Doppler radars.
The project brings together real-time information gathered from flood sensors, geo-hazard mapping, coast hazards and storm surge assessment, and landslide sensors.
President Aquino lauded the collaboration of various agencies to make the project possible. This includes DOST’S PAGASA, PHIVOLCS, Advanced Science and Technology Institute, DILG, and University of the Philippines National Institute of Geological Sciences Department.
He said the project is designed to give early warning to allow citizens and local government units to better prepare against the effects of calamities. “Kayo ang nagpapatunay: hindi totoong ‘ang buhay ay weather-weather lang’ [laughter and applause]—nasa kamay natin kung sisikat ang magandang araw ng kinabukasan, at nasa atin rin kung habang panahon tayong kukublihan ng bagabag. Gamit ang agham at teknolohiya, katambal ang sigasig at wagas na serbisyo, kaya nating mapangalagaan ang kapakanan ng sambayanang Pilipino,” Aquino said in his speech. The project will also help local authorities and school administrators get information as a basis on whether to suspend classes or not.
It is significant that the launch is being held in Marikina which has experienced the worst effects of flooding caused by typhoon Ondoy in 2009.
Marikina has been using the two-month old project to get real time information on the weather and flooding.
President Aquino sampled how the project works through a laptop. He also inspected the Marikina River after the event.