International Charter Support during Major Flood Disasters in India
Keywords: International Charter, Disasters, Floods, India
Abstract. Earth observation (EO) satellites provide near real time, comprehensive, synoptic and multi-temporal coverage of inaccessible areas at frequent intervals, which is required support for a quick response and planning of emergency operations. Owing to their merits, satellite images have become an integral part of disaster management and are being extensively used globally for mapping, monitoring and damage assessment of extreme disaster events. During major disaster, information derived from satellite observation is not only highly useful, it may at times be indispensable because of the unfavourable weather conditions, collapse of communication systems and inaccessibility to the area. Satellite images help in identifying the location of the disaster, its severity and the extent. The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" has been the major sources of satellite data, in times of catastrophic disasters, due to availability of data from large number of sensors (with 15 organisations as signatories), which can be planned with the required temporal frequency and spectral range to cover a disaster event. During last three years, International Charter has been activated regularly, during major disasters in India. Satellite data from different sensors is obtained and was used for improving the frequency of observations, and extracting detailed information. This is used during floods in Assam (2012), floods in Uttarakhand (2013), cyclone Phailin (2013) and floods in Jammu and Kashmir (2014). The present paper discusses the role of International Charter in effective flood disaster management in India during recent past.