March 4, 20111219Views

Friday, March 4The Virgin Islands, through the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has been selected for a project in the Caribbean Satellite Disaster Pilot (CSDP) No.2.

Mr. Dirk Werle of AERDE Research and Ms. Claire Gosselin of VIASAT, Canada are conducting a two day workshop at the Department of Disaster Management (DDM)  to provide an overview of the Project, and to demonstrate how satellite imagery may be used by Disaster Management Organisations following significant hazard events.

Senior Technical Planning Manager, Ms. Garymar Rivera said, “Following the impact of Hurricane Earl, the DDM was able to obtain satellite imagery of Anegada and other locations impacted by the storm. These images obtained by the Caribbean RADARSAT Satellite were used in the Damage Assessment Process and paleoseismic study recently conducted on that island. They clearly define changes in the coastline and levels of inundation in and around the island.” Participants included representatives from the Conservation and Fisheries Department, Town and Country Planning Department, Land Registry Department, National Parks Trust, Survey Department, Public Works Department and DDM.

During this workshop, training will be provided to technicians and planners, focusing on the practical use of RADARSAT and other high-resolution satellites for emergency mapping. Training will also be provided to allow for the interpretation of relevant geospatial products.

Mr. Werle expressed his enthusiasm in this project when he said, “Together, with our Caribbean project partners we are addressing the need for rapid response assessments of hurricane coastal impacts using high resolution RADARSAT-2 and optical images. It is important that these tools be made available to Governments to allow for a more expeditious assessment of impacts following the exposure to hazards such as hurricanes and floods.”

The goal of the CSDP Project is to enhance and improve coastal disaster and emergency management related user needs and activities that are supported by innovative Earth Observation technology and related “know-how.

The project is being spearheaded by the Canadian Space Agency in collaboration disaster agencies in Barbados, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Jamaica and the Virgin Islands.