News

  • Logo of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters"
    International Charter activated for Fuego Volcano in Guatemala Tue Jun 5 2018
    The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has been activated for Guatemala’s Fuego volcano on 5 June. Guatemala’s most powerful eruption in 100 years has killed at least 69 people with many more missing, according to local reports. A state of emergency has been declared with the eruption, which started on Sunday, cascaded vast clouds of volcanic ash, rocks and toxic gas into the...
  • A visualization of Aeolus' mission. Image: European Space Agency
    Space-based lasers and supercomputer to aid the forecasting of extreme weathers Tue Jun 5 2018
    The European Space Agency is launching a new satellite that will help scientists better understand extreme weather patterns and also contribute to disaster preparedness through more accurate forecasting of meteorological disasters. The Aeolus satellite will collect data using powerful lasers, which pulse ultraviolet light into the atmosphere. Data from the satellite, combined with a new...
  • Logo of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters"
    International Charter activated for forest fires in China Tue Jun 5 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for forest fires in China on 4 June. Wildfires have broken out in the mountainous region of the northern Chinese province of Inner Mongolia. A prolonged period of high temperatures and dry conditions fuelled the forest fires, which have spread to over 5,000 hectares due to high winds. Strong and changing winds have made...
  • Participants at EvIDENz stakeholder workshop in Pretoria, South Africa.
    EvIDENz project convenes stakeholder workshop in South Africa Mon Jun 4 2018
    Experts from the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) of the University of Bonn and the Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC) at the University of the...
  • Logo of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters"
    International Charter activated for floods in Yemen Mon Jun 4 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for flooding in Yemen on 2 June. Cyclone Mekunu brought severe rainfall and winds causing flooding in areas of Yemen as it made landfall on 25 May. Local reports suggest that at least seven people have been killed and over 1,000 families have been displaced due to the flooding. The cyclone and floods have also damaged...
  • Crisis Connectivity Charter to aid disaster relief enters into full operation Wed May 30 2018
    Members of the satellite community signed contribution agreements in Luxembourg on 17 May 2018 with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), on behalf of the Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC), to step-up their commitments to support global disaster relief. The contribution agreements signed by Eutelsat, Global Eagle, Hispasat, Inmarsat, Intelsat, SES, Thuraya and Yahsat represent...
  • Beijing from the Sentinel-1A satellite. Image: Copernicus Data/ESA (2014).
    Applications open for United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction Fri May 25 2018
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Ministry of Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China (MEM) will hold this year’s International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction from 24 to 26 October 2018 in Beijing, China. The conference, entitled “Enhancing Disaster Preparedness for Effective Emergency Response”, is implemented...
  • Image: Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon. NASA.
    New monitoring system strengthens forest conservation in India Thu May 24 2018
    The National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), a programme under the auspices of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), has engineered a new monitoring system to observe forest cover change and combat deforestation. By combining optical remote sensing, geographic information system, artificial intelligence and automation, the new system allows monitoring experts to detect small-scale...
  • International Charter activated for floods in Djibouti and Sri Lanka Tue May 22 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for flooding in Djibouti on 20 May and Sri Lanka on 21 May 2018. In Djibouti, tropical cyclone Sagar caused flash floods across the country, impacting up to 30,000 people according to authorities. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research's (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) requested...
  • FY-4A satellite capturing the weather over South-east Asia.  Source: National Satellite Meteorological Center
    China offers satellite data to Belt and Road countries to tackle disasters Tue May 22 2018
    China has established an emergency mechanism using its meteorological satellites to help countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to combat extreme weather and disasters, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) announced on 2 May.   Countries along the Belt and Road Initiative, which are suffering from meteorological disasters such as typhoons, rainstorms, wildfires and sandstorms...
  • IGAC develops innovative risk assessment system in Villavicencio, Colombia Fri May 18 2018
    The Research and Development Center of Geographic Information (CIAF), an arm of the Geographic Institute Agustín Codazzi (IGAC), is developing a risk assessment system for the city of Villavicencio in Colombia. IGAC is a Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER and responsible for advancing geographic investigations for the development of Colombia, and educating and training professionals in...
  • The ISS and the Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo). Image: NASA/JAXA
    UNOOSA and Jaxa deploy first KiboCUBE satellite as part of capacity-building initiative Fri May 18 2018
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) deployed its first cube satellite on 11 May 2018 as part of a joint cooperation programme called KiboCUBE.  The KiboCUBE programme is a capacity-building initiative which enables educational or research institutions from developing countries to deploy cube satellites (CubeSats) from the...
  • An image of the Sheveluch (Shiveluch) volcano in Kamchatka, Russian Federation emitting an ash plume taken by NASA’s Aqua satellite in 2012. Image: NASA Earth Observatory.
    Satellites monitor Russian volcanoes to identify hazards to aviation, populations Wed May 16 2018
    Significant activity from volcanoes in the Russian Federation have been observed from space in recent months. The Kamchatka and Kuril Islands volcanoes, located in the fact east of the country, are being monitored by satellites in order to avert the hazards caused by their regular eruptions to air travel and to local populations. These volcanoes are among the most active in the world, generally...
  • Highway 78 in San Diego State flooded by monsoon rains in 2013. Image: NASA
    GPS sensors used to aid the forecasting of monsoon flash floods Tue May 15 2018
    The forecasting of torrential monsoon downpours has become more accurate due to improved GPS and geodetic sensors. The system, developed by meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Forecast Offices in the United States of America has been in use since 2012. It features next-generation, real-time geodetic modules that have been added to existing GPS...
  • Participants at second EvIDENz stakeholder workshop in Kiev, Ukraine.
    EvIDENz project conducts second stakeholder workshop in Ukraine Mon May 14 2018
    Experts from UN-SPIDER, the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) of the University of Bonn, and the Space Research Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and of the National Space Agency of Ukraine (SRI NASU-SSAU) have convened in Kiev for a stakeholder workshop in the context of...
  • Active volcano Mount Mayon as seen from the Legaspi Airport in September 2013. Image: NOAA/CC BY.
    Satellite communication strengthens disaster response in Philippines Mon May 14 2018
    First disaster responders in the Philippines now have access to mobile satellite equipment that’s more powerful and easier to deploy than ever before. Since 2017, emergency responders have been working with communications company Inmarsat, the UK Space Agency and a consortium of NGO partners to institutionalize satellite communications into disaster response mechanisms in the country, which is...
  • Runoff water of melting glaciers in the Himalayas. Image: Suket Dedhia.
    Unrecorded Himalayan floods discovered though satellite data Mon May 14 2018
    Researchers at the University of Potsdam in Germany have analysed satellite data of nearly 30 years to retrace glacial lake outburst floods across Bhutan, China, India and Nepal. As a result of the survey, the scientists were able to reveal 10 previously undocumented floods in Bhutan, China and Nepal which had been caused by glacial runoff water suddenly breaking through moraine dams. As global...
  • An image acquired 6 May 2018 via NASA’s Terra satellite picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows. Image: NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team.
    NASA monitors Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano amid threat to local population Sun May 13 2018
    NASA satellites are closely monitoring Kilauea volcano in Hawaii, United States of America amid fears that the ongoing eruption could cause further evacuation of the local population.   On 30 April 2018, the floor of Kilauea’s crater began to collapse. Earthquakes followed, including one that measured magnitude 6.9, and lava was pushed into new underground areas that eventually broke through the...
  • Homes flooded after river Shabelle ran over in Belet Weyne Capital City of Hiran, Somalia. Image: Ahmed Qeys.
    International Charter activation for flood in Somalia Fri May 11 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for flooding in Somalia on 7 May, caused by weeks of heavy rainfall. The rainwater has caused the Shabelle and Juba rivers to run over and flood parts of HirShabelle, Jubbaland and South West state. As a result, more than 200,000 people had to be evacuated and emergency settlements are being built up for the victims. However,...
  • Lava flows erupting from a fissure on 5/5/18. Image: US Geological Survey.
    International Charter activated for earthquake and eruption of Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii Fri May 11 2018
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated for an earthquake and eruption of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, USA on Monday. The volcano erupted on 4 May alongside a 6.9 magnitude earthquake, spraying lava up to 70 metres and causing the evacuation of 2000 individuals, in addition to the destruction of several buildings. Dangerous levels of toxic sulfur dioxide from the...
  • Accident caused by heavy snowfall in Virginia, USA. Image: Joe Loong
    Satellite data and snowfall tracking: its implications for weather forecasting Thu May 10 2018
    A new data product developed by scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), and NASA’s Short-term Prediction Research and Transition (SPoRT) Center will be able to provide a more quick and effective calculation of snowfall rates by satellite. Until recently, it has been difficult to obtain...

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