#HurricaneIrma, #Caribbean, #TheInternationalCharteronSpaceandMajorDisasters, #AntiguaandBarbuda, #Turks&Caicos, #DominicanRepublic, #Haiti, #Canada'sRadarsat-2, #MichelDoyon, #CanadianSpaceAgency, #SyntheticApertureRadar, #SAR, #NASA, #DavidGreen
Toronto, Oct 2 (Canadian-Media): When Caribbean -- a region that consists of the Caribbean Sea, its islands and the surrounding coasts -- was hit by Hurricane Irma leading to its destruction last month, authorities on the ground were baffled with endless questions and trying to look for information, media reports said.
Hurricane Irma, reportedly the strongest hurricane observed in the Atlantic since Wilma in 2005 in terms of maximum sustained winds, is an extremely strong and catastrophic hurricane,
Satellites from several nations, including Canada were reportedly asked to track the hurricane's progress and measure the damage to provide vital information for recovery efforts and rescue planning.
A global agreement between Emergency officials in the U.S. and the Caribbean had been in place for nearly two decades.
International Charter on Space and Major Disasters (ICSMD) reportedly provides civil protection agencies in disaster-stricken regions and government and private space agencies free access to data gathered by satellites.
ICSMD, is a non-binding agreement accounting for transmission of space satellite data to relief organizations in the event of major disasters.
In the case of Hurricane Irma, officials in Antigua and Barbuda, the Turks & Caicos and Dominican Republic received information from Canada's Radarsat-2 after it passed over the region, official reports said.
Canada's Radarsat-2 reportedly is an Earth observation satellite that was successfully launched December 14, 2007 for the Canadian Space Agency by Starsem, using a Soyuz FG launch vehicle, from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Antigua and Barbuda, known reportedly for reef-lined beaches, rainforests and resort is an independent Commonwealth country situated at the meeting point of the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Turks & Caicos, according to official reports, is an archipelago of 40 low-lying coral islands in the Atlantic Ocean, a British Overseas Territory southeast of the Bahamas.
Dominican Republic is, the official reports said, a Caribbean nation that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west.
Canada's Radarsat-2: Courtesy of CSA
Owned by MacDonald, Detwiller and Associates (MDA) and operated, in part, by the Canadian Space Agency, Radarsat reportedly provided Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery which can see through cloud formations and monitor flooding, landslides and destruction brought on by hurricanes and heavy storms.
Canada's Radarsat-2 satellite is Canada's eye in the sky during natural disasters.
"Sometimes having a view from space is a definite advantage. It's instrumental in planning emergency rescues. It provides a global view. It's instrumental in planning emergency rescues," Michel Doyon, manager of flight operations at the Canadian Space Agency was quoted by the media.