By EDD K. USMAN
Manila, Philippines – President Benigno S. Aquino III and the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) launched the Project NOAH (National Operational Assessment of Hazards) in Marikina City yesterday.
Project NOAH is the government’s nationwide response through science and technology (S&T) to the country’s crippling yearly natural disasters that have killed thousands and destroyed billions of pesos in properties.
They launched the project that cost over P1 billion in two years in Marikina as a tribute to the city that went underwater due to devastating floods in the past few years.
Aquino arrived at the venue at about 10 a.m. The President formally launched and activated Project NOAH at 10:18 a.m., witnessed by DoST Secretary Mario G. Montejo, Marikina City officials, and other government officials.
Its “mission is 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,” the DoST said of NOAH.
Montejo recalled that Project NOAH was conceived after typhoon “Sendong” that devastated Northern Mindanao on December 17, 2011, spawning floods submerging Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City, killing over a thousand people and destroying several houses.
He said the President ordered the development of flood prevention and mitigation project to give communities a fighting chance to escape the onslaught of perennial floods through a flood early warning system within six hours of their arrival.
“In Project NOAH, we will apply advanced S&T tools to come up with enhanced vulnerability maps and shortened six-hour monitoring and warning system for communication along the major river basins,” said Montejo.
He said Project NOAH has eight components aimed at addressing major needs in various disaster situations.
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