Use of space technology for Natural & Manmade Disaster Management

By Dr. S. Pal Group Director, ISRO Satellite Centre, Bangalore.

Space Technology - Disaster Management • Recollect - the destruction of the beautiful cities & some of the best monuments made by mankind.
– Submersion of the cities of Dwaraka, Poompuhar & Atlantis in sea – The biggest disaster created by Mount Vesuvius volcano to the beautiful city of Pempeii – Earthquake in the port city of Alexandria (pharos of Alexandria - 12th Century AD) & Colossus of Rhodes ( 225BC) – Earthquakes of Bihar, Utrakhand, Latur, Iran, California
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management
– – – – – – – – – Flash floods of Morvi Floods in UP, Bihar, Assam, Bangladesh Cyclones of Orissa, AP, Bangladesh & Mauritius Nuclear Accident of Chernobyl Numerous wars Forest fire of Indonesia Cholera outbreak in Bangladesh An aircraft accident in the Sahara desert Oil spills in the sea
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management
• Recollect the events surrounding the sinking of the TITANIC on April 14, 1912 • The World Met Organization predicted & warned that a big cyclone is going to hit Mauritius. Mauritius being a reasonably rich, small nation & had the best communication system including cellular & satellite system. The UNO disaster management office in Geneva was in constant touch with authorities in Mauritius & monitoring the status regularly. Suddenly the communication stops & for five days there was no information about the damage & losses, to outside world. Sixth day an emergency relief plane from Seychelles lands & world comes to know about it.
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management • 1978 cyclone hits AP coast • 1999 Cyclone hits Orissa & for four days nothing was known to the rest of the world about the damages, severity & status. • Latur Earthquake & Morvi floods
– India comes to know from USA.

• Hundreds of lives were saved by an enterprising man by telephoning down the stream Satluj in July 2000 floods of Himachal Pradesh
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management
• Disaster can be classified under two categories:

– Natural : • meteorological phenomena such as cyclone, floods, draughts, • geological nature such as landslide, earthquakes, volcanoes & avalanches and river coarse changes • biological nature like locust, pests or diseases in crops, fruits and forest.
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management
• Disaster can be classified under two categories (contd.):

– Manmade :
• War, nuclear explosions, pollution of sea, air rivers, lakes etc. • excess use of fertilizers • building of dams on rivers thereby disturbing the soil conditions, • deforestation & unsuitable afforestation, plantation • unplanned growth of cities & villages • accidents in air, sea & of railways.
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management • Disaster, as the word suggests is a sudden & terrible misfortune whose scars can not be easily removed, usually strikes without much of an advance warning and as such the management of it becomes a big task. • Management of disaster :
– Pre-disaster planning – Response & monitoring – Post disaster management
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management • Space technology has come a long way to help mankind in managing almost all the areas of all types of disasters. – Geo-satellites help in monitoring the weather, provide uninterrupted communication links, acts as warning and data collection centre. – The geo mobile component can even provide communication even in Orissa type of cyclone.
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management • The LEO spacecraft can provide met data, through optical & microwave remote sensing, can picture and monitor pollution, floods, avalanches, landslides, river course etc. • Spacecraft can even carry sensors to pickup ELF waves, which are supposed to be emitted during earthquakes & volcano activities.

S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management • Some efforts towards predictions:
– Volcano activity
• Fire ring maps, earth temperatures, seismic & Geological studies help in predicting the volcano erruption

– Cyclones
• Sea temperature, wind profile, sea surface roughness & height data etc. provide the early warnings ( Being done by Topex / Poseidon Satellites)

– Earthquakes
• Geological studies & fault location, ELF emission monitoring may help
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

Space Technology - Disaster Management • Some effects towards predictions (contd..):
– Flash floods
• Topographical studies of the land & forests & monitoring of rain falls

– Floods
• Monitoring the rain fall in the catchment area, snow fall in upper hills, temperatures & topographical studies

– Locust, Cholera, Pests etc.
• Regular Remote sensing observations of the sea, desserts & forest.
S.Pal , ISRO satelllite Centre, Bangalore

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