Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) is a responsive program, launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), for disaster prevention and mitigation for the Philippines' warning agencies to provide a 6 hour lead-time warning to vulnerable communities against impending floods. Advanced technology will be used to enchance current geo-hazard vulnerability maps.
The project takes a multi-disciplinary approach to develop systems, tools, and other technologies which could be operationalized by the government to help prevent and mitigate disasters.
By using science and technology, in partnership with the academe and other stakeholders, the project aims to undertake disaster science research and development, advance the use of cutting edge technologies, and recommend innovative information services in government's disaster prevention and mitigation efforts.
There are eight component projects under the NOAH Program. These include:
- Hydromet Sensors Development- Installation of 600 automated rain gauges (ARG) and 400 water level monitoring stations (WLMS) along the country's 18 major river basins (RBs) by December 2013 to provide a better picture of the country's surface water in relation to flooding
- Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment for Mitigation- Light Detection and Ranging (DREAM-LIDAR) 3-D Mapping Project- Creation of more accurate flood inundation and hazard maps in 3D for the country's flood-prone and major river systems and watersheds
- Flood Information Network (Flood NET-Flood Modeling Project)- A flood center for a timely and accurate information for flood early warning systems. The project will come up with computer models for critical RBs, automate the process of data gathering, modeling and information output, and release flood forecasts.
- Weather Hazard Information Project (WHIP)- The utilization of platforms such as television (DOSTv) and web portal (http://noah.dost.gov.ph) to display real-time satellite and Doppler radar, ARG, and WLMS data to empower LGUs and communities to prepare against extreme natural hazards. The said project is to be complemented by activities like:
- Conduction of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities
- Processing and packaging of relevant and up-to-date information for public use
- Enhancing Geo-hazards Mapping through LIDAR- The use of LIDAR technology and computer-assisted analyses to identify exact areas prone to landslides
- Local Development of Doppler Radar Systems (LaDDeRs)- Development of local capacity to design, fabricate, and operate sub-systems of Doppler radars for remotely sensing the dynamic parameters of sea surface (wave, wind field, and surface current velocity)
- Landslide Sensors Development Project- A low-cost, locally developed and sensor-based early monitoring and warning systems for landslides, slope failures, and debris flow.
- Coastal Hazards and Storm Surge Assessment and Mitigation (CHASSAM)- A project that will generate wave surge, wave refraction, and coastal circulation models to understand and recommend solution for coastal erosion.
The program team is composed of the scientist-leaders of the said projects. The warning agencies of the country, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) and Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) are represented.
In two years, the project shall provide high-resolution flood hazard maps and install 600 automated rain gauges and 400 water level measuring stations for 18 major river basins in the country. These are:
- Marikina City River Basin
- Cagayan de Oro River Basin
- Iligan City River Basin
- Agno River Basin
- Pampanga River Basin
- Bicol River Basin
- Cagayan River Basin
- Agusan River Basin
- Panay River Basin
- Magaswang Tubig River Basin
- Jalaur River Basin
- Ilog-Hilabangan River Basin
- Agus River Basin
- Davao River Basin
- Mindanao River Basin
- Tagum-Libuganon River Basin
- Tagaloan River Basin
- Buayan-Malungun River Basin
The project will also work on other river basins of the country after the work on the said major river basins is completed.
Hazard maps are tools used for localized emergency response, identification of evacuation and access routes, road closures during disaster events, siting of key rescue facilities and comprehensive land use planning. These are produced with computer simulations which reflect flood-prone areas which are discernible at a local scale or community level.
Project NOAH's initial output was focused on the Marikina Watershed. In March 2012, the following were already accessible online:
- Streaming data from the automated rain gauges and water level sensors
- Flood hazard maps overlain on Google Maps
- Graphical satellite radar and Doppler data forecasts
- Translated rain intensity and volume measurements in terms of warning and evacuation level alarms, hours or days ahead of the flood event
The said output was used to replicate the entire country. The generated information was transmitted by other media and communication channels.
Participating Agencies and Organizations
- University of the Philippines (UP) National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) EML Laboratory
- ClimateX Project
- UP NIGS VTEC Laboratory
- UP Training Center for Applied Geodesy and Photogrammetry & Department of Geodetic Engineering (UP DGE-TCAGP)
- UP Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI)
- British Council
- British Embassy
- UK Environment Agency
- Cabot Institute, Bristol University
- Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Potsdam
- MediaQuest Holdings Inc.
- Manila Observatory
- Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
- Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)
- Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
- Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)
- Smart Communications, Inc.
- Sun Cellular
- Globe Telecommunications
- Google Crisis Response
- Rotary Club of Pinamalayan Central
Sources of Data
- Australian AID: Metro Manila LiDAR data
- Collective Strengthening of Community Awareness for Natural Disasters (CSCAND): Metro Manila LiDAR data
- Government of Japan: JICA
- Government of Korea: KOICA
Mobile application development
- Rolly Rulete: Project NOAH app for Android
- Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center: Flood Patrol app for Android
- ABS-CBN Corporation: Project NOAH app for IOS
- Pointwest Technologies: Flood Map app for Android/IOS
- “NOAH”.DOST Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards.(Accessed on 21 August 2013).
- “Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards)”.Official Gazette.(Accessed on 23 August 2013).
- “DOST Project NOAH”.iTunes.(Accessed on 23 August 2013).