Cyclone Roanu has claimed over 100 lives in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and has left tens of thousands in need of aid. Officials are looking to the sky for information on flooded areas to analyse the cyclone's aftermath and support emergency response activities.
On Monday, the Sentinel-1A satellite captured about 80% of the country of Bangladesh during a single pass. The images were quickly delivered to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) to create flood maps, revealing over 170,000 hectares to be inundated.
The response to the request for data was quick, as was the generation of flood information by EMS: less than 30 hours from activation to the delivery of the first flood map.
A 'rush mode' to process and make Sentinel-1 data available for EMS has been set up in order to reduce the response time as much as possible.
The Sentinel-1 mission for Europe's Copernicus programme is revolutionising the use of satellites in managing risk assessment and emergency response with the provision of large-scale radar data in a systematic fashion.