Project NOAH to launch new disaster management platform

MANILA, Dec. 7 (PNA) — A new and improved version of the disaster risk reduction and decision-making platform of the Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) will be launched on December 11 at National Institute of Physics – Intel Center for Science Innovation in University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman.

Project NOAH is the government’s flagship program for disaster prevention and mitigation which aims to create a disaster-free Philippines by providing tools and information to mitigate or avert disasters caused by natural hazards.

According to DOST, since its inclusion in the NDRRMC’s Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment system, Project NOAH has been instrumental in identifying areas that would be hit by hazards brought about by extreme weather events.

In line with the NDRRMC’s principle that warnings should be “hazard-specific, area-focused, and time bound,” Project NOAH has had great success in determining which hazards would hit specific areas at particular times. We can count on more successes with the introduction of the newest platform designed to provide more scientific information and a better user experience.

Along with the release of the new user interface of the website is the completion of the hydrometeorological hazard maps. This includes barangay-level flood hazard maps for major river basins, storm surge hazard maps for all coastal municipalities, landslide hazard maps for the entire Philippines, and hazard maps for debris flows, a lesser known but extremely dangerous phenomenon.

Project NOAH has also completed the multi-hazard maps for the 171 municipalities in the Yolanda-affected corridor, as per the Joint Memorandum Circular (DENR-DILG-DND-DPWH-DOST JMC 2014-01) issued solely for the purpose of identifying areas suitable for future reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, another new feature on the website is the improved WebSAFE application, an impact assessment tool developed through the collaboration of Project NOAH, World Bank, and UNICEF. Using this tool, you can estimate the number of people or buildings that may be hit by a particular hazard event. Based on this, local government units can better approximate and plan for the minimum needs of affected individuals. It is also capable of providing snapshots of a community’s vulnerability to disasters.

Moreover, Project NOAH will also introduce the newest version of the Arko app. Arko was developed jointly by DOST – Project NOAH and Pointwest Technologies, Inc. This mobile application, which was one of the winners of the World Summit Awards for Mobile Inclusion and Empowerment, provides users with location-specific flood hazard maps. It now features the added function of showing storm surge and landslide hazard maps. (PNA)