Earth observation aids disaster relief in Pakistan

September 3, 2010 at 9:46 am | Posted in Remote Sensing Law Current Events | Leave a comment

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty


Pakistan’s floods are arguably the worst in living memory, leaving many hundreds dead and millions homeless or marooned as villages and infrastructure have washed away. The fear now is that more will die from water-borne diseases. The United Nations has warned that up to 3.5 million children could be in danger of falling victim to infection.

While data from a range of Earth observation satellites are being used, both through the International Charter Space and Major Disasters and the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, to provide essential mapping for emergency response, ESA astronaut Frank De Winne is supporting UNICEF’s desperate effort to provide clean drinking water to those in need.

Maps generated via the Charter are essential because they use the very latest  to show exactly how far the flood waters have spread, enabling rescue teams on the ground to identify the best way to access those stranded and in need. This is especially important because this year’s flood has affected such a vast area…more

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