The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has been activated for floods in Venezuela on 15 August and in India on 16 August.
Floods in Venezuela
In Venezuela, persistent heavy rain and swollen rivers have caused severe flooding, which has affected over 10,000 people in the Venezuelan provinces of Amazonas, Apure, Bolivar and Anzoategui. The Orinoco river reached its highest levels in 40 years, leading the river to burst its banks in my places. Local authorities have set up an aerial bridge over the river so supplies of food, medicine and aid can reach the affected populations. Major arterial roads have also been closed, isolating some areas and further hampering emergency response efforts.
The red alert for rain and flooding is set to be in place until the end of August, with further rain forecast in the coming weeks.
The Charter activation was made by Venezuelan civil protection agency “Directora de Gestión del Riesgo Dirección Nacional de Protección Civil y Administración de Desastres”. The Bolivarian Agency for Space Activities, “Agencia Bolivariana para Actividades Espaciales (ABAE)”, will act as project manager for the activation.
Floods in India
Southern India has been impacted by some of the worst floods in almost a century, with at least 79 people killed and thousands displaced in the state of Kerala. Monsoon rains have also caused landslide and bridge collapses, as well as multiple homes and agricultural fields being destroyed. Rescue operations are underway, with the federal government sending additional forces to aid with the relief efforts.
India's Meteorological Department has forecast heavy rain in Kerala for the next two days and has issued a red alert for 12 out of its 14 districts.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who also requested the Charter activation, will act as project manager.
Read more about the International Charter activation for India here.