Update: Overview of Flood Waters in Punjab Province, Pakistan (as of 29 August 2013)
9 September 2013, Geneva, Switzerland - UNOSAT and ESCAP requested the activation of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters to generate the satellite data necessary to assess the extent of that flooding that has been affecting Pakistan since mid-August 2013. The data was used by UNOSAT analysts to generate a series of maps illustrating the extent and location of the flooding that had been caused by heavy monsoon rains.
The floods had affected almost a mission people and killed over 130 people by the last week of last month, according to Pakistani Red Crescent sources. Punjab, followed by Sindh and Baluchistan appear to be the most affected regions. UNOSAT on-call officers received a call for rapid mapping from colleagues at ESCAP in August, at the peak of the disaster. UNOSAT and ESCAP coordinated actions with both the Pakistani government and the Regional Office of OCHA, also based in Bangkok.
ESCAP and UNOSAT have concluded a collaboration agreement earlier this year that includes procedures to help countries in the Asia Pacific region obtain satellite analysis from UNOSAT. In case of larger disaster situations UNOSAT requests the help of the International Space Charter, a mechanism known for providing the UN with satellite data for free whenever humanitarian users are in need of geospatial information that cannot be made available otherwise.
In 2010 Pakistan was affected by catastrophic floods whose extent required extraordinary humanitarian relief and affected some 20 million people.