Natural Disasters

International satellites supporting disaster management

The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" is an international effort to put space technology at the service of rescue and emergency responders in the event of a major disaster. When the Charter is activated, its members make satellite images of devastated regions available to support relief efforts. Armed quickly with reliable and accurate information, response teams are better equipped to save lives and limit damage to property, infrastructure and the environment. As a member of the Charter, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) provides satellite imagery to help mitigate the effects of natural disasters.

Support provided by CSA following Charter activations

Submarine lost at sea in Argentina –

One of Argentina's three navy submarines, with 44 crewmembers onboard, lost radio contact on November 15, launching a huge search and rescue operation off the coast of Patagonia. The submarine was on a voyage from the southernmost city of Ushuaia to the naval base of Mar del Plata.

More than a dozen boats and aircraft from Argentina, the United States, Britain, Chile and Brazil have joined the search, but storms have complicated efforts to find the submarine. The International Charter was activated on November 17 in the hopes that the submarine will appear on satellite images. RADARSAT-2 imagery is also being provided to support the search and rescue efforts for the submarine and its crew. While it doesn't have the ability to look for the vessel if it's underwater, RADARSAT-2 will be able to detect any traces of oil on the surface of the ocean if the submarine has been damaged.

Credit: CSA

The ARA San Juan submarine. (Credit: Associated Press)

Typhoon Damrey in Vietnam –

Strong wind and heavy rain caused by Typhoon Damrey swept through Vietnam in early . This devastating storm made landfall near Nha Trang, flooding communities, damaging houses and other buildings, and destroying 40,000 hectares of crops. The toll of dead and missing people continues to rise.

RADARSAT-2 imagery has provided support to rescue teams on the ground. More information on Typhoon Damrey in Vietnam.

The collaborative response of the CSA and other space agencies during natural disasters is governed by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

Credit: CSA

Earthquake in Mexico –

A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake killed over 230 people in Mexico on September 19. RADARSAT-2 imagery provided support to rescue teams on the ground. Earlier in the month, an 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck another part of Mexico, killing 90 people. More information about the Earthquake in Mexico –

The collaborative response of the CSA and other space agencies during natural disasters is governed by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

Credit: CSA

Hurricane Maria over the Caribbean –

Heavy wind, powerful waves and rain caused by Hurricane Maria have swept through the Caribbean. RADARSAT-2 imagery was provided on and to support the operations of response teams in the following communities:

Credit: CSA

Guadeloupe and Martinique

While Martinique seems to have been spared the worst, a state of emergency was declared in Guadeloupe following Hurricane Maria. Winds gusting up to 250 km/h and heavy rain have caused severe flooding and could lead to landslides.

RADARSAT-2 imagery provided support to rescue teams on the ground. More information on Hurricane Maria in the Antilles.

The collaborative response of the CSA and other space agencies during natural disasters is governed by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

Dominican Republic

Communities in the Dominican Republic, still reeling from Hurricane Irma, are on high alert as Hurricane Maria is on course to reach the island on .

RADARSAT-2 imagery provided support to rescue teams on the ground. More information on Hurricane Maria in the Antilles.

The collaborative response of the CSA and other space agencies during natural disasters is governed by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

Hurricane Irma over the Caribbean –

High winds and heavy rain passed across the Caribbean, causing catastrophic damage. RADARSAT-2 imagery has been provided three times from September 5 to 7 to support emergency response efforts in the following communities:

Antigua and Barbuda, Turks and Caicos Islands

Barbuda and the Turks and Caicos Islands were hit by Hurricane Irma: winds gusting up to 300 km/h, six-metre waves and severe flooding.

Barbuda's authorities confirmed that the hurricane destroyed or damaged 95 percent of its property and leaves in its wake nearly 2,000 homeless.

Floods have caused extensive damage in the Turks and Caicos Islands. RADARSAT-2 imagery provided support to rescue teams on the ground. More information on Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean.

The collaborative response of the CSA and other space agencies during natural disasters is governed by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

Credit: CSA

Dominican Republic

The powerful winds of Hurricane Irma barrelled through the Dominican Republic on September 7, damaging homes and inundating streets in beach towns on the north coast, including Cabarete and Sosua.

The response teams of the Comisión Nacional de Emergencias have been providing support to those in the most affected areas. They have used RADARSAT-2 imagery to respond more effectively on the ground and help rescue more people. More information on Hurricane Irma in the Dominican Republic.

The collaborative response of the CSA and other space agencies during natural disasters is governed by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

Credit: CSA

Haiti

Torrential rain triggered by Hurricane Irma struck Haiti's northern coast on September 7. Some homes were submerged under 12 inches of water, and a few casualties were reported by local officials.

As no local rescue mission was in place, RADARSAT-2 imagery was sent to the international authorities to coordinate rescue efforts. More information on Hurricane Irma in Haiti.

The collaborative response of the CSA and other space agencies during natural disasters is governed by the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters."

Credit: CSA

Flooding in Venezuela –

Heavy rains fell for several days across eastern parts of Venezuela, causing widespread flooding. The states of Delta Amacuro, Bolivar and Merida are highly affected.

The Civil Protection Agency of Venezuela has raised the alert to the highest level and is providing support to people in the most affected areas.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Venezuela –

Credit: CSA

Landslide in China –

Heavy rain triggered a landslide covering 60 homes with rocks and debris in Xinmo, a remote village in north Sichuan.

The disaster buried over 100 people, and rescuers continue to search the rubble for missing people.

Landslides are a regular occurrence in Sichuan province - which is also prone to earthquakes - though officials say the scale of this disaster is unprecedented.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the landslide in China –

Credit: CSA

Flooding in Honduras –

Heavy rains in the southern and western departments of Choluteca, in southern Honduras, have caused flooding.

The departments of Valle, Lempira, La Paz, Intibucá, Santa Bárbara, Copán and Ocotepeque are also affected by the flooding.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Honduras –

Credit: CSA

Wildfires in South Africa –

Wildfires have devastated the Western and Southern Cape provinces of South Africa.

While the exact cause of the fires has not yet been determined, they began following the worst storm the region has experienced in thirty years. The storm struck the coast of South Africa on and brought with it powerful winds that fuelled and spread the fires. This was in addition to the worst drought the Western Cape has experienced in over a century.

The town of Knysna was particularly affected, where almost 500 buildings have been destroyed.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the wildfires in South Africa –

Credit: CSA

Flooding in Uruguay –

Heavy rains have caused severe flooding in northwestern Uruguay, including the city of Bella Unión.

3,500 people have been displaced. Many of them are already receiving food, shelter and medical care. Uruguay's National Emergency System (SINAE) is visiting affected areas to assess the damage and coordinate relief efforts.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Uruguay –

Flooding in Uruguay – June 2017

Credit: RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency.

Flooding in Sri Lanka –

Monsoon rains have caused severe flooding and mudslides in western and southern Sri Lanka, leaving at least 91 people dead and 8000 people affected.

The Sri Lankan navy and air force have been deployed to provide emergency relief to affected areas.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Sri lanka –

Floods in Sri Lanka (Kalu Ganga) - May 29, 2017

Credit: RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency.

Flooding in Sri Lanka (Gin Ganga region and Galle) – May 29, 2017

Credit: RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency.

Flooding in Russia –

Torrential rain has caused flooding in Stavropol Krai, Russia. A state of emergency has been declared in the region, where at least six villages and towns are affected.

Emergency workers are conducting rescue operations to evacuate people trapped by the flood waters and are providing relief and emergency supplies for the victims. More than 1000 homes have been flooded and over 3000 people evacuated.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Russia –

Credit: CSA

Flooding in Chile –

Heavy rains in Chile have caused severe flooding in the capital of Santiago. Reports indicate that two people have died and over 2,000 people have been forced to leave their homes. Several vehicles have been destroyed by water as a result of the Salado River overflowing into the city.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to support relief efforts and help mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Chile –

Credit: CSA

Flooding in Canada –

The city of Montreal and surrounding areas have been hit by severe flooding due to heavy rain and melting snow following the seasonal rise in temperature. At least 1,900 homes have been flooded across 126 towns and cities. A state of emergency has been declared, and mandatory evacuation orders have been issued in some areas.

The province of Ontario has also been significantly affected. There is widespread flooding in the National Capital region. In southern Ontario, the Canadian Press news agency has reported that Lake Ontario's water level has reached an extent not seen since .

The Government Operations Centre is working to coordinate the response to the situations in Quebec and Ontario.

Thanks to the CSA's participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," imagery from RADARSAT-2 and international satellites is being provided to mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Canada –

Credit: CSA

Disappearance of the Stellar Daisy – Spring

A South Korean cargo vessel, the Stellar Daisy, disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean on . Two members of the crew were found in a life raft the day after, but 22 members of the crew still remain unaccounted for.

Search operations have been underway since the vessel disappeared. The Charter was activated on to help these efforts with satellite imagery.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the Canadian Space Agency is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery. More information about the disappearance of the Stellar Daisy – Spring

Credit: CSA

Flooding in Haiti –

Heavy rains and flooding in Haiti have had a serious impact on areas previously damaged by Hurricane Matthew ( ). At least 6 deaths were reported since the flooding began. Over 5000 homes in the town of Port-Salut town are reported to be damaged with several being completely destroyed.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Haiti –

Image of the flood in Haiti

Credit: RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency. Sentinel-1 © Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data ()

Flooding in Colombia –

Heavy rains in Colombia have caused torrents of water, mud and debris in the streets of Mocoa in the south of the country. President Juan Manuel Santos declared about 250 deaths, 200 people injured and more than 200 missing persons.

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Colombia –

Flooding in Peru – Spring

Torrential rains have struck Peru since early and could continue until , causing severe flooding. The Civil Protection Agency of Peru reports about 100 deaths and 180,000 people affected by the disaster. 

As part of its participation in the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," the CSA is providing RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery to mitigate the effects of this natural disaster. More information about the flooding in Peru – Spring

RADARSAT-2 images of the flooding in Peru - Spring 2017 - Piura River

Credit: RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency. Map produced by CONIDA.

RADARSAT-2 images of the flooding in Peru - Spring 2017 - Chira River

Credit:RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency. Map produced by CONIDA.

Flood in Madagascar –

Tropical Cyclone Enawo has been classified as the most destructive storm to hit Madagascar in years‚ with winds in excess of 231 km/h, making it a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson wind scale. A Category 4 hurricane can severely damage homes and infrastructure; trees will fall and power poles will be downed, causing power outages to last from weeks to months.

As a member of the Charter, the CSA provided RADARSAT-2 imagery to help detect the extent and evolution of flooding over the Maroantsetra area of Madagascar. More information about the flood in Madagascar –

Map of flooding in the Maroantsetra area of Madagascar following Tropical Cyclone Enawo

Credit: TerraSAR-X DLR e. V. , Distribution: Airbus DS Geo GmbH RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency. Map produced by UNITAR/UNOSAT.

Map of flooding in the Maroantsetra area of Madagascar following Tropical Cyclone Enawo

Credit: RADARSAT-2 Data and Products © MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. () – All Rights Reserved. RADARSAT is an official mark of the Canadian Space Agency. TerraSAR-X DLR e. V. , Distribution: Airbus DS Geo GmbH. Map produced by UNITAR/UNOSAT.

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