Members of the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ met the 34th time on October 20-23, 2015. The Charter Board and Executive Secretariat meeting was hosted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) in Sioux Falls (USA). DLR was represented by delegates of the Space Administration and the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD).
The German Aerospace Center (DLR) supported 16 activations of the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’ within the first six months of 2015. Contributions comprise imagery of satellite missions TerraSAR-X/TanDEM-X or RapidEye, covering amongst others the enormous flooding in Malawi (January 2015) and the disastrous earthquake in Nepal (April 2015).
On April 25, 2015 a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit the Himalayan region. The epicentre was located between the Nepalese capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara. The event and several aftershocks caused wide ranging destruction. Authorities estimate that more than 2000 people were killed and many more injured across Nepal and the neighbouring countries China, India and Bangladesh.
On 24 and 25 April 2015, an exercise of the Bavarian Red Cross (BRK) has taken place on the former USAF airfield Kitzingen. During this exercise (“ConneKT 2015“), the immediate treatment of injuries as a consequence of a simulated tribune collapse as well as a CBRN situation was trained. This exercise was utilized by the BRK in cooperation with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), in order to get new insights in traffic management during emergency cases and in order to test the use of terrestrial and airborne monitoring systems contributing to situational awareness.
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 for the first time in over 42 years sending a plume of ash into the sky. The eruption triggered a Red Alert in the Los Lagos Region of Chile. Thousands of people within a 20 km radius of the volcano have been evacuated. The International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' has been activated, where the DLR/ZKI contributes with the delivery of TerraSAR-X and RapidEye data and supports the generation of rapid mapping products.
Villarrica is one of Chile's most active volcanoes, and had been showing signs of activity since the start of February, leading to close observation of the volcano in the event that a eruption occurred. It finally erupted on 3 March 2015, sending ash and lava up into the sky in a display which was reportedly seen as far as 100 km away. The International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' has been activated, where the DLR/ZKI contributes with the delivery of TerraSAR-X and RapidEye data.
Heavy and long-lasting rainfall caused large-scale floods, particularly in the southern regions of Malawi. The DLR/ZKI provided the function of the Project Manager in the frame of the related Charter Call.
Wide spread rainfall associated with high rainfall amounts in the catchment areas of Shire and Zambesi rivers triggered flash floods and flooding in several areas in Southern Malawi and Mozambique. The International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' has been activated for this flood event.