On 11 – 16 September, Armenian authorities in collaboration with NATO and the international humanitarian community carried out a major exercise based on an earthquake scenario simulation. The drill featured a scenario with a simulated 7.2 Richter Scale quake in the Kotayk region in the Republic of Armenia. This included both real field deployment and a virtual command and coordination set up. The field component involved presence from national emergency management entities, the United Nations, NATO and other actors.
UNOSAT was called to take part in the exercise owing to the mandate of UNOSAT as the satellite mapping entity in charge of geospatial data coordination for the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS). In this role UNOSAT supported the exercise with situation mapping simulating the impact of the quake in the areas concerned. These products, like the one shown here, were posted in real time in the Virtual On-Site Operations Coordination Centre (Virtual OSOCC). The virtual Centre is used in most humanitarian crises to exchange information and maps during the emergency response phase in order to facilitate operational coordination among all parties involved in the response.
On this occasion, UNOSAT has also teamed with SAR Weather of Iceland for detailed weather forecasts over the exercise area. It is not the first time that UNOSAT participates in this type of exercises that are organized routinely to enhance the capacity of governments and international organizations to react in coordination to rapid onset disaster situations. NATO is also a regular user of UNOSAT products linked to human security, such as the UNOSAT Piracy Monitoring service.
SAR Weather (www.sarweather.com)