The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Tuesday held a day-long national brain storming session in New Delhi, on application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in disaster management, including using it for identifying disaster-affected areas.
"UAVs can be effectively used in different phases of disaster management - they can help us identify areas affected by disasters. They can also aid disaster response," said DN Sharma, Member, NDMA, during the session.
Underlining the importance of UAV technology for disaster management, he called for all stakeholders to strive to leverage existing technologies for quick and efficient disaster response.
Sharma expressed hope that stakeholders would be encouraged to collaboratively work towards research and development of UAV technology for Disaster Risk Reduction.
According to the NDMA, in a post-disaster situation, UAVs can be used to map the affected areas in high resolution within a short time, which, in turn, can aid swift and efficient response.
"UAVs can provide high-resolution, real-time images of even the inaccessible locations. These images can then be used to produce accurate hazard maps so that prevention and mitigation measures for reducing disaster risks are planned accordingly," said a statement from the NDMA.
The event saw participation of members from Delhi Technological University and Anna University, and organisations such as Defence Research and Development Organisation and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited among others.
Drones already in use abroad for disaster management
Drones or UAVs as they are called, are already being used around the world in humanitarian response.
In 2013, during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, small and lightweight UAVs were employed.
A year earlier, they were used in Haiti following Hurricane Sandy.
They have also been used in response to the massive flooding in the Balkans and after the earthquake in China.
African nations like Malawi already have a â€˜drone corridorâ€™ while Rwanda is working with Silicon Valley to come up with the worldâ€™s first nationwide drone network. The network started delivering blood supplies to remote hospitals last year.
(With IANS inputs)