Satellite Emergency Communications Deployed to Assist Humanitarian Needs

Posted by Michelle Howard
Monday, November 11, 2013

The IMSO Director General, Captain Esteban Pacha-Vicente, is pleased to provide information about deployment of satellite emergency communications in the Philippines to assist in the management of the very critical humanitarian situation in this area.

Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) and the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination Agency (UNDAC) are working together to bring much needed support to the disaster-stricken Philippines. TSF deployed on November 7, the day before typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) hit the Philippines – predicted at that time to be a Category 5 typhoon with wind speeds of up to 300 km/h, the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history.

The disaster has called for great humanitarian aid due to the 4.1 million people it could potentially affect in the areas of Visayas and Leyte. It is for this reason that Télécoms Sans Frontières’ Bangkok based team, as well as backup from its international headquarters in Europe, made way for the Philippines on 07/11/13 before the typhoon struck to provide the immediate, essential mobile communications support to the hundreds of thousands of people affected as well as the numerous humanitarian aid agencies in the field. The reinforcements sent from TSF’s international HQ mean that the hundreds and thousands of affected people will be able to make calls to their families to inform them of their situation, in many cases reassuring them that they are still alive.

Thanks to its partnership with UNDAC, TSF is one of the first NGO responders on the ground, allowing for telecoms assessments to be carried out as well as the immediate installation of telecoms centres to generate a coordination hub for the other NGOs in the disaster zone.

Being amongst the first on the ground after Haiyan struck, this allowed TSF to pre-position three telecom centres for relief coordination before the influx of humanitarian aid arrived in the aftermath. The town of Tacloban has been identified at the most affected area, with head of UNDAC, Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, describing the area as having suffered “destruction on a massive scale”. TSF has already installed three functioning satellite connections which provide internet to the telecom centres put in place – the first, to the benefit of the Filipino NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) as well as the Ministry of Telecommunication, the second, used by the United Nations agencies of OCHA, WFP and UNDAC and the third for all the other humanitarian organizations present in the area.

Inmarsat satellite communications provided by TSF’s centres are essential to any humanitarian operation. They provide all NGOs with a management hub from which they can send and receive essential information concerning their operations, meaning they can work as efficiently as possible and coordinate their actions amongst the millions of people affected by Haiyan. Working in collaboration with local telephone operator, TSF has carried out assessments of the telecom situation and it is estimated that it could take up to two months or more before the telecommunications networks are fully restored.

TSF has also provided direct support to the Filipino government - The Minister of Home Affairs and his deputy have both been supplied with Inmarsat SatPhones in order improve communication capacities within the government and beyond.

Access to reliable satellite telecommunications in emergency situations becomes critical especially in remote areas and when terrestrial networks are often seriously damaged or destroyed after a natural disaster. The IMSO Convention provides that IMSO, through existing international mechanisms dealing with technical assistance, should seek to assist satellite providers in their effort to ensure that all areas, where there is a need, are provided with mobile satellite communications services.

IMSO periodically receives information about deployment of emergency communications in cases of natural disasters or humanitarian needs provided by Inmarsat and deployed on-the-scene by Télécoms Sans Frontières, the non-governmental organization responsible of establishing emergency telecommunications centres to serve the UN, national governments and NGOs humanitarian teams.

Emergency communications are provided by satellite operators through modern equipment that can be rapidly deployed on the scene. Inmarsat provides BGAN terminals that are deployable within minutes and allow satellite broadband and voice and fax services, as well as portable IsatPhones that offer instant satellite telephone communications, including text and email messaging as well as GPS location data.

Maritime Reporter June 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

New Binding Law of The Sea Agreement Advanced

WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (Singapore, 9-11 November 2015) Will Enable Industry to Organize its Input to this Major New Ocean Treaty Development The U.N.

Oceans Can’t Take Any more: Researchers Fear Fundamental Change

Our oceans need an immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn’t happen, we could see far-reaching and largely

Teekay LNG Partners Declares Distribution

Teekay GP LLC, the general partner of Teekay LNG Partners L.P. has declared a cash distribution of $0.70 per unit for the quarter ended June 30, 2015. The cash distribution is payable on August 14,

Marine Electronics

The Submarine Electricity Transmission Market Is Expected to Reach $25 Billion in 2024

According to a new report from Navigant Research, the global submarine electricity transmission market is expected to grow from $16.8 billion in 2015 to $24.8 billion in 2024.

Rolls-Royce to Lead Autonomous Ship Research

Rolls-Royce announced it will take the lead on a €6.6 million project that could pave the way for autonomous ships. The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications

SUNY Maritime to Host e-Navigation Conference

The e-Navigation Underway 2015 – North America conference will be hosted by The State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College from September 28 to 30 on the college’s Throggs Neck, N.

News

New Binding Law of The Sea Agreement Advanced

WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (Singapore, 9-11 November 2015) Will Enable Industry to Organize its Input to this Major New Ocean Treaty Development The U.N.

Oceans Can’t Take Any more: Researchers Fear Fundamental Change

Our oceans need an immediate and substantial reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. If that doesn’t happen, we could see far-reaching and largely

Teekay LNG Partners Declares Distribution

Teekay GP LLC, the general partner of Teekay LNG Partners L.P. has declared a cash distribution of $0.70 per unit for the quarter ended June 30, 2015. The cash distribution is payable on August 14,

Electronics

Rolls-Royce to Lead Autonomous Ship Research

Rolls-Royce announced it will take the lead on a €6.6 million project that could pave the way for autonomous ships. The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications

SUNY Maritime to Host e-Navigation Conference

The e-Navigation Underway 2015 – North America conference will be hosted by The State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College from September 28 to 30 on the college’s Throggs Neck, N.

Transas Shifts Sole Focus to Maritime Sector

Arranging new changes to its brand positioning, the Transas Group informs it will now focus its efforts solely in the maritime market.   The group’s shareholders

Maritime Safety

New Binding Law of The Sea Agreement Advanced

WOC Sustainable Ocean Summit (Singapore, 9-11 November 2015) Will Enable Industry to Organize its Input to this Major New Ocean Treaty Development The U.N.

Ocean Safety, Richard Irvin Marine Safety Merger

Ocean Safety has today announced the merger with Richard Irvin Energy Solutions Marine Safety Division and their Aberdeen branch.   This merger follows the

EU NAVFOR Consults Somali Fisherman

Sailors from Operation Atalanta Warship ITS Libeccio speak to local fishermen about European Union’s efforts to deter Somali piracy   Sailors from Operation Atalanta

Communication

Antwerp, Duisburg Ports to Upgrade Rly Link

The Port of Antwerp and duisport are intensifying their cooperation as the Port of Antwerp will participate in the existing rail shuttle service connecting the two ports.

Beier Radio is now Beier Integrated Systems

For 70 years, Beier Radio has provided engineering, sales, and service for marine electronics around the globe. As the corporation marks its 70th anniversary,

DPE is New Majority Shareholder in INTERSCHALT

Deutsche Private Equity GmbH (DPE) is set to become the new majority shareholder in INTERSCHALT maritime systems AG, the maritime software and services provider

 
 
Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2382 sec (4 req/sec)