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Heavy rainfalls connected to tropical storm Ana have triggered severe flooding events in eastern Africa, affecting Madagascar, Mozambique, and Malawi. Flooding began after heavy rain in Madagascar on 17 January and continued with tropical storm Ana passing over the countries from 22 January.

In an effort to support the national authorities and their disaster management agencies, several emergency mechanisms making use of space-based technologies have been activated. These mechanisms aim to provide a rapid assessment of the situation, giving information about the extent of the event, affected population, and a first damage assessment.

By utilizing and analyzing available optical and radar satellite imagery, this crucial data and information can be generated, put into maps, services, and reports, which are provided to and accessible by the authorities and other assisting organizations for more efficient disaster response.

Below, you find a selection of links…

Publishing date 02/02/2022
Cyclone Enawo made landfall on the northeastern coast of Madagascar on 7 March 2017. This cyclone is one of the strongest to hit the island in last 13 years, with winds in excess of 231 km/h. The emergency services are warning of dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. So far, there have been power outages and nearly 10,000 people have been evacuated. Aid organizations are warning that more than 700,000 people could be affected by the storm. The International Charter was activated on 6 March 2017 on a request made by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
Publishing date 11/03/2017

A study carried out by the University of Leicester has shown the amount of rainfall many African areas receive has drastically changed in the last ten years. It is an essential factor for vegetation, which plays a vital role in African livelihoods.

The international team of researchers has mapped the entire African continent south of the Sahara regions using satellite mapping technology. The analysis of  the rainfall and greenness of plants in African regions suggests that "some parts of the Congo, Nigeria and Madagascar appear to receive much less rainfall now compared to 10 years ago," said Professor Heiko Balzter, Director of the Centre for Landscape and Climate Research at the University of Leicester and co-author of the study.

The analysis of 10 years of satellite data has been conducted together with the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the Institute of Electromagnetic Sensing of Environment of the National Research Council of Italy…

Publishing date 09/03/2015

On 18 January 2015, the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated in Madagascar in response to heavy rainfall resulting in widespread flooding.

The activation of the mechanism to provide satellite-based resources free of charge was requested by the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises (COGIC) on behalf of the Bureau National de Gestion des Risques et des Catastrophes (BNGRC) of Madagascar.

The strong rainfall is due to the devastating storms that have hit Madagascar over the past few weeks. Namely, Tropical Cyclone Bansi and Tropical Cyclone Chedza affected the south-western part of the island on 9 January and 16 January, respectively.

According to reoprts, 13 people have died, almost 10,000 have been left homeless and over 50,000 are affected overall by the disaster, especially in the areas of the capital city Antananarivo, as well as Manakara and Vangaindrano.

Publishing date 20/01/2015

Five islands in the Indian Ocean – the Union of the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, and Zanzibar (Tanzania) – are working to establish and manage disaster loss databases. The losses databases should be able to predict and estimate losses from cyclones, floods and storm surges. The models to be used are the same as those employed in the UN’s 2013 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction.

The Project is supported by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the Indian Ocean Commission’s (IOC) ISLANDS Project. The First meeting was held at the IOC’s headquarters in Mauritius. The 2005-15 Hyogo Framework for Action highlights the importance of accounting for past losses that can provide a basis for better risk assessments, more appropriate disaster planning and effective measures to reduce vulnerability and exposure. The 2005-15 Hyogo Framework for Action serves as a plattform for disaster-related information. It should provide the basis for…

Publishing date 06/12/2013

On 23 February 2013, the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" was activated to provide satellite imagery and maps for responders to Cyclone Haruna. Haruna had had struck southwest Madagascar on Friday 22 February 2013. The Cyclone had made landfall as a Category 2 storm with wind speeds of up to 105 mph. The storm fuelled itself over Mozambique with gusty wind speeds of up to 95mph as it headed towards the island of Madagascar. This map created by OCHA shows Haruna's predicted path on 22 February 2013.

The cyclone’s cloud-filled eye was centred near 23.3 south latitude and 44.2 east longitude on the largest city and capital of Antananarivo, Madagascar.

The worst affected districts are; Morombe, Taolagnaro and Toliary. So far it has been reported that 10 people were killed, 17 people were hurt and nearly 3,000…

Publishing date 25/02/2013

 International financial institutions (IFI) provide financial support and professional advice for development activities on local and regional scales in developing countries. Their activities are generally organised in dedicated projects financed by long-term loans or grants covering social and economical development aspects in a wide range of fields. For certain fields, EO (Earth Observation) products and services have been identified as a useful tool for supporting the monitoring and management of IFI projects in order to improve the efficiency of the investments made and to assess the impact and social benefits of the financed development activities.
ESA, as part of its Value Adding Element (VAE) programme, has been interacting with IFI and their stakeholders to understand their working environment and also their information requirements in particular with regard to EO services. This process resulted, among other things, in the definition of service specifications for…

Publishing date 23/05/2011

Within the project “Providing Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technical support for Disaster Risk Reduction programs implemented by DIPECHO partners in the South East African and South West Indian Ocean region”, UN-SPIDER, together with the Italian-based NGO Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) and the Geoinformatic Centre from the University of Salzburg (Z-GIS) carried out a mission to Antananarivo, Madagascar in November 2010 with the aim of conducting a national seminar.

Dans le cadre du projet « Offrir un appui technique en matière de Systèmes d’Informations Géographiques pour les programmes de réduction des risques et catastrophes mis en œuvre par les partenaires DIPECHO dans la région du Sud - Est de l’Afrique et du Sud - Ouest de l’Océan Indien », ONU-SPIDER, a effectué une mission à Antananarivo, Madagascar en Novembre 2010, en collaboration avec l’ONG italienne Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) et le Centre de l’Université de Salzburg (Z-GIS), l’objectif étant de délivrer un séminaire national.