The International Charter Space and Major Disasters have been activated in Costa Rica on 28 November 2016 due to the consequences of Hurricane Otto. The activation was requested by USGS on behalf of National Emergency Committee Costa Rica.
The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters has been triggered to provide satellite-based emergency maps in response to a category four storm that passed over the Bahamas on 2nd. October, causing widespread destruction. Winds of over 130 mph, up to 600mm of rain and 3 metre storm surges have been reported.
The satellite developer PlanetiQ introduced its new GPS technology called Pyxis which will make predictions better than before. The satellite-based weather instrument includes sensors that are designed to penetrate storm clouds and generate data that will significantly improve weather forecasting.
Cyclone Pam, which struck Vanuatu last Friday, has affected more than 130,000 people, about half of the population of the country, according to UN estimations. Following a direct hit from the Category 5 storm, at least two deaths have been confirmed and over 30 injured people are being treated in the capital Port Vila.
Several people have died after torrential rains and subsequent floods in southern France on 17 and 18 September 2014. The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 18 September by Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises (COGIC) in order to obtain satellite-based maps of the flood and its impacts. SERTIT will be the Project Manager for this activation.
In a recent press release, the re-insurance company Swiss Re announced that global disaster-related insurance losses were relatively low in the first half (H1) of 2014 as per preliminary estimates. They amounted to USD 21 billion. Of these, losses related to disasters triggered by natural hazards are estimated at USD 19 billion for H1 2014.