Last week Tropical Storm Ida caused weather instability and heavy rains throughout Central America. Nicaragua and El Salvador were the most affected countries with 130 deaths, unconfirmed number of missing people, and thousands homeless in Salvador and some 23,000 people affected and thousands evacuations in Nicaragua.

The United Nations dispatched an emergency coordination and assessment team to the region (UNDAC) and OCHA requested UNOSAT to activate its Rapid Mapping service to help evaluate the damage inflicted by the storm and coordinate relief on the ground. To respond to this request UNOSAT has triggered the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, an international agreement between ESA and various national space agencies that allows the United Nations to benefit from free and rapid satellite data to produce geographic information in the aftermath of major natural disasters.

UNOSAT is engaged in supporting the UN system during emergency respond actions through its Humanitarian Rapid Mapping Service. The service may be activated 24/7 by any UN agency and office worldwide and it comes at no cost for the humanitarian community thanks to predictable donor support. UNOSAT has relied on free data generated by the Charter for the benefit of the UN for almost 25% of its rapid mapping activations since the United Nations have been given access to the Charter Space and Major Disasters in 2003.


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