Today, none of the space based system, either Indian or foreign, has the
capability to detect and predict natural calamities like earthquake, its after
effects or Tsunami. The remote sensing and communication satellites provide the
means of assessing the extent of damage and enabling the relief operators to
use this data for planning the mitigation measures as well as establishing
emergency communication system. ISRO has put into operation all its resources
towards this and is in touch with relief operators.
Communication Facilities: A fly-away VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal), 10
INMARSAT telephones and four Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) Phones have been
airlifted to Port Blair, for augmenting the telecommunications links. VSAT
based video conferencing facilities have been set-up to connect seven Taluk HQs
to Secretariat. The A&N Administration is using the VSATs at Diglipur,
Mayabandar, Rangat, Port Blair, Hut Bay, Car Nicobar, Camorta and Cambel Bay
for relief and rehabilitation. Regular video-conferencing facility has been
established between these locations and the main land via INSAT-3E. Satellite
based telephone connectivity, as well as ISDN connectivity for
video-conferencing purposes have been enabled at the above locations through
the Telephone Exchange at ISRO's Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad.
Required transponder capacity on INSAT-3E satellite has been earmarked for
supporting large capacity telephone links from A & N Islands to Kolkata
which is connected to Delhi. Telephone links from one place in A&N Islands
to any other place through transportable VSATs are being arranged.
Telemedicine facilities: Telemedicine facilities are in operation at two
Hospitals at Port Blair (GB Pant Hospital and INS Dhanvantari Hospital), and
Indira Gandhi Hospital at Car Nicobar to enable the local Doctors to
communicate with specialty hospitals like Appollo Hospital at Chennai and
Amruta Institute of Medical Sciences at Cochin, which are in the ISRO
Damage Assessment through Satellite Remote Sensing: Data from Indian Remote
Sensing satellites (IRS-1C, 1D, OCEANSAT-1 and RESOURCESAT) over affected areas
are being used for analysis and damage assessment and the information is being
provided to Crisis Management Group of the Ministry of Home Affairs and State
agencies. Satellite data for Car Nicobar, Chennai and Kakinada; Tamil Nadu
coast (especially Nagapattinam), Andhra Pradesh and Kerala have been acquired.
Aerial Photography Survey for damage assessment: To obtain high resolution data,
under cloud/haze conditions, aerial survey, using the aircraft of National
Remote Sensing Agency, has been undertaken for assessment of extent of
inundation, affected agriculture areas, damaged coastal vegetation, damage to
coastal landforms, breaches, beach erosions, and damage to the clusters of
habitations. Chennai-Nagapattinam, Andhra Pradesh coast and Port Blair have
already been covered and other islands are also being covered. The satellite
imageries clearly indicate large-scale damage to the southern tip of Great
Nicobar Island and the Indira Point. The Trinkat Island of the Nancowri Group
has been separated into two parts due to the water impoundment in the central
As a member of the International Charter on Disaster, ISRO activated the Charter
on Dec 26, 2004 and the satellite data from foreign satellites such as SPOT,
RADARSAT and ENVISAT over Port Blair, Car Nicobar, Cudallore and Nagapattinam
are being received.
ISRO/ DOS is closely working with the Crisis Management teams in providing all
possible support, both with regard to space and ground infrastructure.