June 7, 2006

Indonesia:International Charter on Space and Major Disasters swings into action

Saturday 27 May, a big earthquake of magnitude 6.3 shook the Yogyakarta region in the south of Java. The same day, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters was activated at the request of the German Red Cross.
7 June 2006

Founded in July 1999 by CNES and the European Space Agency, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters aims to make satellite assets operated by the signatory agencies available to rescue authorities anywhere in the world in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.

After the earthquake in Java on 27 May, the German Red Cross contacted the charter to obtain as much information as possible in order to concentrate its relief efforts where most needed in this very densely populated region.

The earthquake has already left 6,000 dead and 50,000 injured, but the toll is expected to rise.
For the injured, their chances of making a quick recovery depend on how fast they can be treated.
By giving coordinators a broad picture and the ability to identify the worst-affected areas, satellites are the most effective scouts for relief teams.

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