Project NOAH Year in Review

This year has yielded an extensive use of science and technology for Project NOAH — from continuous simulation of high resolution flood, landslide, and storm surge hazard map data, to considerable efforts in averting the effects of natural hazards, thus minimizing the likelihood of disasters.

During the early part of 2016, Project NOAH shifted from hazard mapping to risk mapping with its Integrated Scenario-based Assessments of Impacts and Hazards (ISAIAH) component. This paves way to the utilization of higher quality hazard map information and tools for disaster management. The innovations substantially help community leaders in enhancing their disaster mitigation plans to better protect their citizens.

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One of the goals of ISAIAH is to map the building footprints of communities. The effort involves a collaborative partnership with the OpenStreetMap (OSM) community. OSM is a project that aims to create a free editable map of the world.

Focusing on the Philippines, Project NOAH utilizes crowd-sourced mapping. A series of advanced mapping sessions were conducted, initially involving the staff who later on trained volunteer mappers from private organizations and local government units (LGU), and even students and faculty of state universities.

Project NOAH’s mapping initiative helped increase the total structures mapped in different provinces, municipalities, and cities all over the country. Volunteers have completed mapping the provinces of Biliran, Cavite, Samar, and Zambales alongside with the City of Taguig and Municipality of Pateros.

Currently, volunteer mappers are completing the provinces of Abra, Bataan, Batangas, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Leyte, Misamis Oriental, and Aurora.

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Another goal of ISAIAH is the assessment of risk from hazards and planning with the local government unit officials. All of the OSM data and information from the mapping efforts are integrated into the Project NOAH website tools. This is because the building footprints obtained and generated from the OSM community are now also in the WebSAFE application.

With WebSAFE, LGU officials and concerned individuals can better visualize disaster response and relief scenarios and the resources (e.g. relief goods, water supply, etc.) they would need to prepare in case a severe weather event strikes.

Representatives of UP NIGS- based student organizations during

From this technological innovation, Project NOAH conducted installments of OpenStreetMap and Capacity Assessment workshops that started last September. Project NOAH teams were sent to different provinces (Bataan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Zambaes) to further present the use and benefits the WebSAFE application, and to better explicate what risk mapping using OSM has to offer.

For a more targeted audience, Project NOAH also invited the DRRM Officials of Aurora, Batangas, Cavite, and the whole Metro Manila to Project NOAH’s office at the National Institute of Geological Sciences Building, University of the Philippines Diliman to attend the same workshop.

All of the workshop participants significantly helped in mapping their respective communities, especially in identifying the critical facilities in their municipalities and cities.

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This year has been filled with a more focused and engaging approach to disaster prevention and mitigation. Of all the 14 typhoons that entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility this year, Project NOAH staff were able provide near real-time information on the typhoon tracks and the imminent threat of hazards in specified communities with the help of PAGASA, NDRRMC, DILG, and other government and private agencies.

By using advanced disaster science research, Project NOAH has also fundamentally provided accurate hazard information data to community leaders through the continuous talks, lectures, fieldwork, community immersion,  and simulation of flood, landslide, and storm surge data.

Hazard risks were properly identified and in turn, disasters were prevented.

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The organization has also received various awards, even winning the prestigious USAID Harnesing Data for Resilence Award.

Oscar Lizardo of Project NOAH alongside a representative of mClinica, both winners of the Harnessing Data for Resilience Recognition Award (Impact Demonstration and Early Stage Innovations categories).

Oscar Lizardo of Project NOAH alongside a representative of mClinica, both winners of the Harnessing Data for Resilience Recognition Award (Impact Demonstration and Early Stage Innovations categories).

Project NOAH persists in developing more innovation that can be utilized in risk mapping, assessment, and planning before, during, and after a weather event.

Help us build a more disaster-resilient Philippines! With your continued support to the project, we will be able to save more lives.

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