The Boat is Sinking: All about Project NOAH

NOAH Logo

19 tropical cyclones or storms enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility in a typical year among these storms, usually 6 to 9 make a landfall. With that number, it is clear that the Philippines is really prone to typhoons. Well not just typhoons, but to any kinds of calamities. It is because the Philippines is located along the Pacific Ring of Fire, or the Typhoon Belt where most calamities start.

The typhoons entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility are given a local name by the PAG-ASA, which also raises the public storm signal warnings as a necessity. Most of us know that is it not new to us if there will be a typhoon that will hit us. There are a lot of strong typhoons that hit our country and took many lives of our citizens.

With this problem, we need a system or a program to inform us about these kind of calamities and accurately tell us when it will hit the country and if we need to prepare immediately for evacuation. This is where the Project NOAH comes in.

What is Project NOAH?

Project NOAH stands for Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards. It is also called NOAH because of the famous Noah’s Ark, about the flood and saving the animals. But this project will save lots of people’s lives. The Philippines is one of the countries that always get hit by any kind of calamities, may it be a typhoon, an earthquake, or even a landslide.

This is an early warning tool for typhoon preparedness and because the Philippines is prone to all types of calamities, this project can help everyone especially warning agencies, LGUs and other sub-government units to provide information to everyone in their administration. It also has different projects that can help in alerting and informing everyone about certain calamities.

This project is a response to President Noy’s instructions to put into action a responsive program or system for disaster prevention and mitigation, especially for the Philippines’ warning agencies to be able to provide a warning to liable communities against floods and heavy rainfall. Also, to use the advanced technology to enhance current geo-hazard vulnerability maps. By having this program, a lot can be saved during calamities.

Project NOAH can be accessed through their website and their official mobile application which can be downloaded via App Store for Apple users and Google Play for Android users.

What are the component projects of the NOAH program?

There are a total of 9 component projects under the Project NOAH. These are the following:

  • Hydromet Sensors Development (HSD)
  • DREAM-LIDAR 3D Mapping Project
  • Flood NET – Flood Modeling Project
  • Hazards Information Media (HIM)
  • Enhancing Geo-hazards Mapping through LIDAR
  • Doppler System Development (DSD)
  • Landslides Sensor Development Program (LDSP)
  • Storm Surge Inundation Mapping Project (SSIMP)
  • Weather Information – Integration for System Enhancement (WISE)

All these 9 component projects may be different from each other, but they have one main purpose as to why it is created, and that is to give information about the current state of a typhoon and warning us if we should evacuate or not.

These projects uses the latest technology we have to identify how much rain will pour in an hour or in a day by using rain gauges, how strong is the wind and predicting the weather by using the Doppler radar, where are landslides most commonly seen and happen by using high-quality satellite photos, where a starting storm surge will head and how strong it is and so much more.

Project NOAH was not built alone. It had to team up with the Philippines’ top warning agencies: Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) to give us the latest and accurate results for all calamities that will hit our country.

What is in the website of Project NOAH?

P. Noah

        When you go to their website, you will definitely see a combination of both science and technology. The main page of the website will give you the map of the Philippines, labelling some provinces and cities. There are also a lot of features in this website. You can see there a flood map, weather stations, rain gauges, a Doppler, and many more. This website will give you all the information you need about how much rain pours in an hour or in a day, measuring the wind, predicting the weather, and so much more.

According to Mr. Peter Ferrer, a geologist and a research associate in the Department of Science and Technology, the website can be a big help if you want to know about what’s happening if there’s a typhoon that is currently in our country and what is its current state, if it is a strong typhoon or just a rainfall. Although that this website can be accessed by anyone, I do not think that everyone can understand what some terms mean because those terms are scientific and some of our citizens are not used with scientific terms, If I may say so myself.

NOAH

The website can show you how flooded your own neighborhood will be in the event of a very strong typhoon. It is also a website that allows you to see storm tracks, the amount of rainfall in a particular area, the water level in your nearest river, as well as how high the flood will be in your very own home. All you have to do is type the name of your street, village, or city and watch the flood maps reveal which parts of your community will be submerged in floods. All the information comes from over 100 new weather gauges and 4 new Doppler radars bought and installed by the government. Project NOAH also developed storm surge hazard maps that will predict the date and time of surge impacts, as well as the water level rise in coastlines.

“Noah” is still in its early stages and the government wants to integrate its use in local governments to make disaster preparedness all over the country faster and more efficient. The other goals of Project NOAH may seem ambitious, such as a nationwide 3D hazard map, use of satellite information for broadcast in both TV and web, among others, which are all expected to be deployed by 2016.

For an overview look on how to use the Project NOAH website, watch this video via YouTube.

– Nathan

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