Res Communis Blog RSS

Category Archives: Remote Sensing Law

Disasters Charter: Flood in Sudan

The Disasters Charter was activated for a Flood in Sudan:

Flood in Sudan

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Sudan
Date of Charter Activation: 05 August 2014
Charter Requestor: UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA
Project Management: China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application (CRESDA)

Description of the Event
Several weeks of heavy rain have caused floods in Sudan which have left approximately 39 people dead and 6000 homeless.

Sudan’s rain season began in July and since then the floods have affected eight of Sudan’s eighteen states, particularly the River Nile and North Kordofan states, where much of the damage has taken place. It has been estimated that 3000 homes were destroyed by the flooding and a further 2000 damaged.

The capital city, Khartoum, has also been affected, and hundreds of people are currently left homeless in the city. Residents have stated dissatisfaction with the nation’s sewage network, which is ill-equipped to channel flood waters out of areas of habitation. The result is lingering flood waters which are a breeding ground for disease.
Volunteers in affected areas have attempted to keep back the flood waters with improvised barriers, but there are concerns over the long-term impact of the flooding, and over the risk of more rain to come in the following weeks.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrLinkedInEvernoteDiggSlashdotEmailShare

Disasters Charter: Landslide in Nepal

The Disasters Charter was activated for a Landslide in Nepal:

Landslide in Nepal

Type of Event: Landslide
Location of Event: Sindhupalchowk District, Nepal
Date of Charter Activation: 05 August 2014
Charter Requestor: Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) on behalf of ICIMOD
Project Management: Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)

Description of the Event
Ten people have been confirmed killed in a landslide in the Sindhupalchowk District of Nepal and over a hundred more are believed lost. The landslide occurred on 02 August 2014 following heavy rain.

Landslides are common in Nepal during this time of year, when rain falls on the nation’s mountainous terrain. But this landslide brought debris and rocks down on Mankha village, burying dozens of houses and 159 people. Despite search efforts, by 04 August rescue workers announced that there was no longer any hope of saving the 159 missing victims.

The landslide has blocked part of the Araniko Highway; an important, but notoriously dangerous, route which leads to Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu. Rescue workers have been cutting temporary routes through the debris in order to get supplies through to the victims of the landslide.

Of great concern is the landslide’s impact on Sunkoshi River. Debris from the landslide also blocked part of this river and formed a growing lake. It was feared that the lake would burst through the debris and the excess water flood villages along the river and even into neighbouring India. 100,000 people were evacuated in India due to concerns over the potential flood, but in Nepal the army has carefully been clearing debris on the river and slowly letting the water through so that it does not flood. While there are still concerns over potential flooding, it has been reported that the water level is dropping.

Five hundred tourists were additionally left stranded by the landslide. Hiking in the mountains when the landslide occurred, their guides brought the tourists safely to Tatopani town where they were later rescued on 04 August.
Emergency workers and soldiers are working together to treat the wounded in Sindhupalchowk district, to salvage what remains from the landslide, and to recover the bodies of its victims.

Disasters Charter: Flood in Brazil

The Disasters Charter was activated for a Flood in Brazil:

Flood in Brazil

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil
Date of Charter Activation: 04 July 2014
Charter Requestor: Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management National Centre (CENAD)
Project Management: INPE

Description of the Event
Torrential rain in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, has caused flooding which has led to two deaths and an estimated 20,000 people evacuated.

Rio Grande do Sul is Brazil’s most southern state, and borders Uruguay and Argentina. A state of emergency was declared in the state on 4 July 2014, following over a week of rain which began on 26 June. So far 115 towns and cities have been affected by the flooding across the state, which includes the state capital, Porto Allegre.
It is believed that the weather has been caused by the El Niño effect, which warms the Pacific Ocean and usually results in hot and wet summers for South America.

This latest flood follows on from another batch of torrential rain which affected southern Brazil, and particularly Rio Grande do Sul’s nearby states of Santa Catarina and Paraná, in early June. The prolonged rainfall is expected to harm the area’s agricultural production, due to saturated ground conditions. The Institute of Meteorology has reported that this was the wettest winter Brazil has experienced since 1983.

Disasters Charter: Flood and Landslide in Brazil

The Disasters Charter was activated for Flood and landslide in Brazil:

Flood and landslide in Brazil

Type of Event: Flood and landslide
Location of Event: Brazil
Date of Charter Activation: 14 June 2014
Charter Requestor: Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management National Centre (CENAD)
Project Management: INPE

Description of the Event:
Torrential rainfall, between 07 and 10 June 2014, has caused flooding in southern Brazil where it is estimated that approximately half a million people have been affected.

The weather followed a cold front that passed over the states of Santa Catarina and Paraná, which brought strong winds with the rain. Paraná state has been the worst affected, where ten people have been killed and six were reported missing. Over 130 cities have been affected by the disaster and it was estimated that 40,000 people were evacuated.

Of particular concern was the Paraná River, which burst its banks in places. The rising water level on the river also caused flooding in neighbouring Argentina, and the floodgates at the Yacyreta Dam were opened on 11 June to help control the floodwaters. The dam is located on the border of Argentina, and it was reported that record levels of water passed through the dam.

Floodwaters and landslides have blocked some roads and destroyed bridges, cutting off easy access to some of the affected towns.

The rain was forecast to finish on 15 June, leaving emergency workers with the task of recovering from the flooding.

Disasters Charter: Flood in Argentina

The Disasters Charter has been activated for a Flood in Argentina:

Flood in Argentina

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Argentina
Date of Charter Activation: 12 June 2014
Charter Requestor: SIFEM-DNPC
Project Management: CONAE

Description of the Event
Days of torrential rain falling over South America has caused flooding in northern Argentina, and thousands of people have been forced to evacuate.

Water levels have risen to record levels at the Yacyreta Dam, which controls the flow of water from the Paraná River, and its tributary, the Iguazu. There are concerns that the rain will cause the rivers to rise further, and to combat this the floodgates at the dam were opened on 11 June 2014. It was estimated that 50,000 cubic metres of water per second were flowing from the dam, far higher than the normal amount for this time of year; which is typically 13,500 cubic metres per second. The river levels are currently estimated as being approximately 5 metres in height and are expected to peak in the next few days. In the meantime, overflowing waters along parts of the rivers are causing flooding.

The cities of Paso de le Patria, Corrientes, Barranqueras, Puerto Vilelas and Colonia Benitez are expected to be affected by the flooding by 15 June, and other locations in the area are currently on alert for the risk posed by the floods. There are concerns that the situation could be worse than widespread flooding that occurred last year.

Disasters Charter: Flood in Serbia

The Disaster Charter was activated for Flood in Serbia:

Flood in Serbia

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Obrenovac, Serbia
Date of Charter Activation: 21 May 2014
Charter Requestor: ROSCOSMOS / EMERCOM
Project Management: ROSCOSMOS

Description of the Event
Torrential rain in the Balkans has caused the worst flooding that the area has experienced in over a century. In Serbia, it is estimated that 17 people have been killed and 25,000 people were forced to evacuate.
In just three days, during the period of 14 to 16 May 2014, three months worth of rain fell on the Balkans. The rain caused water levels in rivers to rise, and burst their banks, inundating nearby inhabited areas. There were concerns that the River Sava would flood the Nikola Tesla power plant, in Obrenovac, southwest of Belgrade, and emergency workers quickly acted to protect the plant and try to keep the waters out. Despite their efforts, the continuing rainfall has caused flooding to parts of the plant. The plant is key to providing power for half of Serbia.

The entire population of Obrenovac was ordered to evacuate on 19 May, but it was estimated that as many as 2000 people were left stranded in the city by the flooding, some of whom chose to remain in their homes despite the warnings. Rescue operations have been conducted to retrieve those who were trapped. Eleven other villages along the River Sava were also ordered to evacuate.

The Serbian government has requested international aid in the recovery and though the waters are receding in some parts of the country, many residents are returning to destroyed or inundated homes.

Disasters Charter: Floods in Afghanistan

The Disasters Charter has been activated for Floods in Afghanistan:

Floods in Afghanistan

Type of Event: Flood
Location of Event: Afghanistan
Date of Charter Activation: 29 April 2014
Charter Requestor: UNITAR/UNOSAT on behalf of UNOCHA
Project Management: UNITAR/UNOSAT

Description of the Event
Storms caused days of heavy rain in northern Afghanistan, which resulted in flash flooding on 25 April 2014. It is estimated that over 159 people have been killed by the floods and tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate.

The provinces of Jowzjan, Faryab and Sar-e Pol are among the worst affected, where at least a thousand homes have been destroyed by the flood waters. Roads and crops in the area have also suffered from the inundation. In the province of Jowzjan, alone, it was reported that over thirty villages were flooded.

This area has been particularly prone to flooding in recent years, and many of the homes in the villages are constructed of mud, making them ill-equipped to cope with such severe flooding.

The Afghan National Army has been conducting rescue operations since the flooding began, evacuating many in the affected areas. But it is difficult for them to obtain firm estimates on the number of people missing in the remote area.

As of 07 May 2014, it is estimated that 71,000 people have been affected by the flooding. The rain and flooding also caused a mudslide in Argo District on 02 May, which is believed to have killed a further 1000 people. The search for survivors ended on 03 May, and the focus is now on relief and recovery for the victims of the disaster.

Roscosmos Joins Disasters Charter

Source – ITAR-TASS:

Roscosmos acknowledged full member of International Charter on Space and Major Disasters
April 22, 20:50 UTC+4

MOSCOW, April 22. /ITAR-TASS/. The Board of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters has unanimously approved a decision on acknowledging Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency) a fully fledged member of this international organization, the Roscosmos press service told ITAR-TASS on Tuesday.

The executive secretariat of the Charter organization has discussed an account by its technical commission about the results of qualification tests of the Russian Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth to assess the readiness of the Russian center to represent Roscosmos interests in the organization of the Charter.

The commission in its conclusion has fully confirmed the efficiency of the Russian scientific center in cooperation with the Organization of the Charter on exchanging space information for liquidation of emergency situations and major disasters. . . .[Full Story]