UNOSAT rapid mapping activated over flooding in Sudan

15 August 2014, Geneva, Switzerland - The rainy season in Sudan has begun with severe flooding in Sudan including the capital city. The last devastating floods of 2013 are still fresh in the memory of the Sudanese and the humanitarian community and yet the new rainy season has brought more displacement and destruction right from its start.

The heavy rains that set in in the last week of July have continued during August. The impact has resulted in over 126,000 people affected and thousands of houses destroyed. According to humanitarian agencies, heavy rains and flooding have also affected thousands of displaced people in the camps in West, North and Central Darfur.

UNOSAT rapid mapping has been activated early in the emergency by OCHA and has prompted also the triggering of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. As of 5 August UNOSAT experts have been receiving data free of charge from the Space Agencies part of the Charter mechanism. The Charter operations for this emergency are coordinated by the China Center for Resources Satellite Data and Application (CRESDA).

The imagery and radar data received via the Charter mechanism are used at UNOSAT to produce the information required by the humanitarian entities active during the emergency, including the national response services in Sudan. Six maps have been delivered by UNOSAT in 9 days. Data from radar satellites from Canada and Germany have been used to outline the extent of the flooded areas on the ground.

In addition to the rapid mapping products, UNOSAT released a rainfall anomaly map. The map shows how parts of Khartoum state have been hit by above-average precipitation. The map is based on a study of satellite data over a time span of 10 years for the same seasonal period. The study used data from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission.

To view all UNOSAT maps on this emergency follow this link.

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Image above: The same region of Sudan was hit by severe flloding in August last year (photo courtesy of OCHA); below: the UNOSAT precipitation anomaly map shows the region most affected by the intense rainfall during recent weeks.