ROME, Nov. 20, 2013—International NGOs and the UN will bring aid in the field using disaster maps issued by the the European Commission’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service soon after Typhoon Haiyan violently struck the Philippines on the 8th of November. The first damage assessment maps show the most affected areas of Tacloban City.
e-GEOS is the Service Provider of the Emergency Management Service funded by DG Enterprise within the Copernicus Programme.
e-GEOS operates as the producer of the maps, leading an international team that includes GAF (Germany), ITHACA (Italy) and SIRS (France).
The production teams have been working day and night to perform geospatial analysis of the newly acquired satellite data over Tacloban city, and the regions including Ormoc and Cebu, Cadiz, Kabancalan, Iloilo and Roxas City. All map and vector products produced are accessible through the Copernicus Emergency Management Portal.
“European satellite resources have been used to support the needed assistance to local authorities,” said European Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani, who is now in Vietnam.
The World Food Program and UN OCHA as well as the World Bank and the European Union DG ECHO, who are coordinating humanitarian aid in the countries affected, confirm that the Copernicus Emergency Management Service — triggered soon after the typhoon struck — brings important benefits by providing impact assessments from satellite images and geospatial analysis to facilitate disaster management.
Less than six hours after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, the e-GEOS Emergency Team was in action.
The Emergency Crisis Room was activated at 6:00 UTC on November 8, since when some 30 maps have been produced by the combined efforts of the e-GEOS Emergency Management Team, with others from GAF in Germany and ITHACA in Turin, with 25 people working day and night.
Thanks to the acquisition of Very-High-Resolution optical imagery, it was possible to provide highly detailed data for damage assessment in several towns, and of individual buildings in Tacloban City.
The The European Response Coordination Centre of the European Commission has requested further activations in other areas affected by the disaster, in particular in the area of Hernani. The production of maps and other emergency products is ongoing.
For more than 10 years, e-GEOS has operated in the area of Emergency Management Services.
e-GEOS offers a complete catalogue of services in the Emergency and Early Warning domain, with product categories adapted to the various phases of the Emergency Management cycle . e-GEOS collaborates with the Italian Civil Protection, European Civil Protection authorities and other organizations
The experience of e-GEOS in these fields dates back over many years of implementing such services within FP7- Copernicus (formerly GMES) projects SAFER and G-MOSAIC
e-GEOS leverages COSMO-SkyMed capabilities. With privileged access to satellite tasking, e-GEOS can plan a COSMO-SkyMed acquisition in less than 24 hours. e-GEOS can also exploit its acquisition capability for other radar and optical data at Matera (Italy), Neustrelitz (Germany) as well as its partners’ ground stations.
With a specialized team and a dedicated crisis room, e-GEOS can provide rapid and effective response to emergency situations through the following services: