Floods imaged by Copernicus Sentinel-1.

Millions of people in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe are struggling to cope with the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, which has swept through this part of southeast Africa over the last weeks, leaving devastation in its wake. It is thought that more than two million people in the three countries have been affected, but the extent of destruction is still unfolding.

The authorities and military are working  to rescue people, but roads and other transport and communication links are cut off. In order to plan and execute this kind of emergency... read more

Publishing Date: 04/04/2019
The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite acquired this image of the cyclone on March 11, 2019, as it spun across the Mozambique Channel. Image: NASA.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), as part of the support it provides to Member States through its UN-SPIDER programme, has requested the activation of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" for monitoring the impact of Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe, which hit the country's eastern provinces on 15 and 16 March. The Charter was activated on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Zimbabwe country office.

Geospatial experts from UNDP in Zimbabwe will prepare maps based on satellite images provided through the International Charter. The Copernicus... read more

Publishing Date: 18/03/2019
Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe, image courtesy of ESA

Officials in Zimbabwe say that the floods which follow a crippling drought have destroyed crops, livestock and roads as they swept through villages in the south of the country. They have left some 2,000 people homeless and some communities have been cut off by the damage to roads.

Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe has declared the floods a national disaster.

The floods have further aggravated the problems many Zimbabweans are facing since the crippling drought. More than 4 million people are estimated to be in need of food since last year.

Publishing Date: 04/03/2017
Satellite image of Zimbabwe, taken by Envisat

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters has been activated on 7 February following the request of UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of OCHA Zimbabwe. The activation was due to flash floods caused by heavy rain.

The amount of rain is unusual for this area and is almost double the normal level. Low lying areas are especially vulnerable. Mudslides have killed one person. Thousands of people has been evacuated and further flooding is expected. 

Publishing Date: 07/02/2014
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