New Delhi: India has received satellite data on its flood-hit regions from eight nations, including the US, China and Russia, as part of a multilateral mechanism for sharing space-based data for countries affected by natural or man-made disasters, the External Affairs Ministry said on Friday.
Whenever there is a natural disaster, the National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) and member space agencies of 32 other countries which are a part of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters can activate the platform, the ministry said.
“The charter then seeks the information pertaining to the disaster-hit area available with all the 33 member space agencies. This is the standard practice,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a query on sharing of satellite data for flood relief efforts.
The NRSC represents the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as a member of the charter which has been set up under the UN-SPIDER (United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response), he said.
“By combining earth observation assets from different space agencies, the charter allows resources and expertise to be coordinated for rapid response to major disaster situations,” he said.
Due to the heavy floods in India, the charter was activated on July 17 by the NRSC, Kumar said.
“Under the charter, so far data has been received from eight countries, including USGS (United States Geological Survey), CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales), ESA (European Space Agency), ROSCOSMOS (Russian space agency), Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA) and three others,” he said.
ISRO has also provided information to other space agencies in response to similar requests, Kumar said.
Earlier, the Chinese ambassador here said his country has provided India satellite data on the country’s flood-hit regions to assist in New Delhi’s flood relief efforts.
“Following ISRO’s request for international disaster relief support, China has provided India with satellite data on India’s flood-hit regions to assist its flood relief efforts. Hope all gets well soon,” China’s Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said in a tweet.
Large parts of India’s northeast and Bihar are grappling with a worsening flood situation.