Drones have emerged as one of the most powerful tools during the times of natural disasters. Recently, when the whole world was shocked by the destruction caused due to the disastrous flood in Maharashtra, #StandwithMaharashtra was trending all over Social media, these UAVs played a pivotal role in serving the nation by successfully carrying out post disaster rescue and management operations.
"On 22nd July, Maharashtra witnessed high-intensity floods due to the incessant rains over the past few weeks. At least 209 people have died due to the floods in Maharashtra and eight still remain missing. 1028 villages have been affected in the state including districts like Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur
Besides, 313 animal deaths have been reported so far in the affected districts and 28787 poultry deaths in the Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Sindhudurg districts."
The thing that makes drones highly efficient is their mobility coupled with the capacity to carry cameras and sensors, along with in-built advanced navigation systems and basic safety features that guides the rescue team accurately to inaccessible areas.
Drones are capable of capturing real-time high-resolution images of disaster zones while covering vast areas in a single operation, generating a vast amount of data. Collecting this data is practically impossible for the manual force, but this task can be easily accomplished by the UAVs. This information allows response teams to map areas and conduct risk and damage assessment promptly in remote locations and inaccessible terrains, vastly affected by flood. This also helps in locating victims that might get missed by the rescue team. This enables faster and safer search and rescue operations, making the response more targeted.
"According to preliminary estimates, losses to public and private properties are over ₹4,000 crore ($53,88,00,000). Losses due to flooding in Kolhapur and Sangli are ₹700 crore ($94,290,000).
Electricity infrastructure worth ₹1,200 crore ($ 16,16,40,000) has been damaged, while damage to roads and bridges is over ₹1,500 crore ($202,050,000)."
The use of Drones for Disaster management dates back to the Uttarakhand floods in 2013 when the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), an apex body for disaster management, used drones for the first time and further during the Kerala floods in 2018. They have helped the government measure the intensity of damage caused by topographical mapping techniques. And now the NDRF has successfully conducted rescue operations in the flood affected areas of Maharashtra by the use of these versatile minicopters.
Besides post disaster management and rescue operations, UAVs are now also being widely used to transport emergency medical supplies, first aid and essential food items to remote and inaccessible areas, successfully bridging the supply chain gaps.
IG Drones, since its inception in 2018 has been tirelessly working with the rescue operations team in disaster affected areas of Bhagalpur, Bihar Floods, Assam Floods, Amphan Cyclone, Fani Cyclone & Jajpur Flood in Odisha Maharashtra Flood, Uttarakhand CloudBurst, saving hundreds and thousands of lives.