New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday said that as per "standard practice," it had received satellite data related to floods in different regions of the country from eight nations including USA, Russia, and China, due to its membership of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.
The non-binding charter has been set up under the UN-SPIDER, which is a platform that facilitates the use of space-based technologies for disaster management and emergency response.
"The National Remote Sensing Center (NRSC) represents ISRO as a member of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters. The charter has been set up under the UN-SPIDER. By combining Earth observation assets from different space agencies, the charter allows resources and expertise to be coordinated for rapid response to major disaster situations," said Raveesh Kumar, MEA's Spokesperson.
"Whenever there is a natural disaster, NRSC, and member space agencies of other 32 countries which are a part of the charter can activate the charter and then the charter seeks the information pertaining to the disaster-hit area available with all the 33 member space agencies," he added.
"This is the standard practice. Due to the heavy floods in India, the charter was activated on July 17 by NRSC. Under the charter, so far data has been received from eight countries, including USGS, CNES, ESA, ROSCOSMOS, Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA) and 3 others. ISRO has also provided information to other space agencies in response to similar requests," Kumar lastly said.
The Chinese Ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, had earlier said that China had provided India with satellite data related to the floods, which has seen widespread damage in regions like Assam, Manipur, Bihar, etc.
While infrastructural damage has been reported, scores of people have also lost their lives due to the floods. Several animals, including the vulnerable rhinoceros at Kaziranga National Park, have also died in the calamity. Rescue operations are currently underway in the affected regions.