Satellite images processed by IWMI show extent of inundation in Southern Province

(Colombo, 7 October 2015). In response to the extensive flooding in the south of Sri Lanka, the International Water Management Institute has published a series of maps to help plan relief efforts.

For the first time, maps have been prepared by a consortium consisting of IWMI, the Disaster Management Centre of the Ministry of Disaster Management (MoDM) and the UN’s space based information service for disaster management and emergency response (UN-SPIDER). These show the flood situation using real-time, cloud-free satellite images provided by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The maps are being used by the DMC Emergency Operation Centre to support rapid impact assessment and disaster response. The information is also shared with other relevant authorities.

“This partnership has enabled us to deliver accurate and timely maps which we hope can provide valuable information for flood relief,” said Giriraj Amaranth who leads IWMI’s flood mapping research. “We believe that satellite data has huge potential in this regard and hope that we can play a useful role in rapid emergency response mapping. Last Saturday we accompanied the DMC on a field mission to the affected districts to evaluate the scale of flooding and its impact on paddy fields. The information collected in the field will be used to develop a situation report.”


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