ESA Euronews: Copernicus offers a flood of disaster data


The recent floods in the UK saw a lot of the management of that disaster made possible by using information from satellites. But how? In this edition of Space we find out.

Flooding affects thousands of people every year across Europe, and this year one of them just happened to be a flood scientist – Spanish Research Fellow at Reading University in England, Javier García-Pintado.

His back garden looks onto the Thames, he explains: “This is the bank of the Thames, and this areas was severely affected by the recent flooding. Specifically in this little bit of land we are a tiny bit higher, and we didn’t have any problems, but our neighbours around here certainly did.”

García-Pintado knew his young family was safe at home, because he could count on his expert knowledge; his day job is using satellite data to improve flood models.

“As hydrologists we were pretty confident that this property wouldn’t have a problem, and we told our neighbours,” he told euronews.

Not everyone has a neighbour as knowledgeable as Javier, nor were they as lucky.

The whole area west of London was affected as England and Wales lived through their wettest winter in almost 250 years.

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  1. Way to go ESA! My city was flooded in '97 and having near real-time information about flood wave would certainly save property of many people, perhaps also a lives of few (over 100 people lost lives in that flood). Great idea, looking forward to see how it develops with more satellites up and running and scientists working on the data gathered!

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