The September issue of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" Newsletter is now available on the Charter's website. This issue features articles on the introduction of Universal Access, the Charter's latest member EUMETSAT, five years of TerraSAR-X and SPOT 5: 10 years and still going strong.
On 18 September 2012, the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated for floods in Pakistan. Torrential rain, which began on 5 September, had caused flash floods in Pakistan leaving an estimated one million people homeless. Over 100 people have been reported killed in the floods, and many homes and properties have been inundated. Agriculture has also suffered due to the flood waters, washing away crops and livestock. Relief efforts are under-way, but local efforts are hard-pressed to cope with the scale of the floods.
Multiple earthquakes, with the strongest two measuring 5.7 and 5.6 on the Richter scale, struck the mountainous rural regions of Yunnan and Guizhou, in the Yiliang and Weining counties in southwest China on Friday 7 September 2012, killing at least 80 people and injuring more than 160 others. As a result of the earthquakes in this mountainous area, landslides have also been experienced. The most serious damage was in Yiliang county, where the majority of the fatalities occurred. An estimated 100,000 people have been evacuated and approximately 20,000 houses were destroyed.
The International Charter Space and Major Disasters was activated for floods on Thursday 6 September 2012 in the region of Maga, Mayo-Danay, Cameroon. The Charter was activated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on behalf of Civil Protection Directorate, Cameroon.
The maps requested via the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters regarding the wildfires that ravaged north Algerian forests during summer 2012, are now available on the Charter's website.
An estimated 20,000 hectares of land have been ravaged by forest fires in the north of Algeria since June. These are a result of hotter than average summer heat waves that have been reported to reach as high as 50 degrees .
The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters has been activated three times in the past two days to provide satellite imagery and maps regarding floods in Niger, Senegal and Nigeria. West African nations experience torrential rains during their annual rain season, but this season has been reported as the worst in 50 years.