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UP keeps Project Noah afloat

/ 04:31 AM February 25, 2017

Five days before its shutdown, Project Noah (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), a tech-driven initiative credited with saving millions of lives through accurate and timely weather and flood forecasting, found a new home.

The University of the Philippines said it would adopt the project and continue its work, starting with the setup of a new Noah center on the UP Diliman campus. The move was approved on Thursday by the UP Board of Regents.

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Launched by the Department of Science and Technology in 2012, the project is supposedly ending on Feb. 28. Its mission included doing research in disaster science, advancing the use of technology in forecasting, and helping government information campaigns on disaster mitigation.

Most of the project staff members are from UP, including its executive editor, Alfredo Mahar Lagmay of the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences.

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“We were a program in need of a home,” Lagmay said. “UP is an interdisciplinary community and will make the perfect home for us, given that our disaster program will grow even bigger in the future.”

“In a sense, Project Noah is coming home,” UP President Danilo Concepcion said in a statement. “It has literally been a lifesaver for millions of Filipinos threatened by natural disasters. It deserves a new lease on life and UP is happy to welcome it into its fold.”

Frederick Mikhail Farolan, a university regent, announced on his Facebook page that UP’s decision to adopt Noah would allow government agencies and funding institutions to continue their support for the project.

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