Malaysia: Head of Space Agency promotes satellite technology for disaster management

The Director-general of the Malaysian National Space Agency (Angkasa), Dr Noordin Ahmad, highlighted the importance of satellite technology in the pre- and post-disaster management phases, as well as during the occurrence of an emergency.

In an interview for the Sun, referring to the National Security Council of the Prime Minister Department, Ahmad stated: "We have engaged them on how best to use and promote the use of satellite technology in mitigating disaster. One way will be to use satellite images in the pre- and post disaster process".

He emphasized the importance of employing satellite imagery in the preventive stage of the disaster management cycle as a way to assist the federal government and local authorities in Malaysia to better understand the characteristics and possible impacts of disasters, and to disseminate useful information for mitigation operations before a disaster occurs.

Moreover, Angkasa's Director-general stressed the usefulness of satellite images in the elaboration of urban and infrastructure plans for a certain area. He highlighted the value for Malaysia to collaborate with other space agencies and international bodies - such as UN-SPIDER and the European Space Agency (ESA) - which can facilitate public and cost-free satellite data for disaster management to developing countries.