In March this year, heavy rainfall and flooding hit several municipal areas in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, causing significant damage to infrastructure. To aid in disaster response efforts, the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) utilised Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) data to map the extent of the damage in Mnquma, Mbashe, King Sabatha Dalindyebo, Nyandeni, Port St Johns, Ingquza, and Mbizana.
In collaboration with the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC), SANSA activated the International Charter, Space and Major Disaster on March 27. This activation allowed the owners of earth observation satellites that are part of the charter to prioritise image acquisition over the affected areas in the Eastern Cape province.
The flood damage maps derived from EOS data are crucial tools accessed by the NDMC, local authorities, and affected businesses to aid disaster response efforts and quantify the damage caused by the floods.
Furthermore, SANSA has developed disaster management tools to provide relevant authorities with early warnings of floods and information on high-risk flooding areas. With the capability to monitor flooding, SANSA can provide authorities with relevant satellite imagery to assist with post-flood disaster management.
In summary, SANSA’s EOS data and disaster management tools provide vital support in managing the impact of floods in affected areas.