Integrating drones into disaster response operations

The utilization of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) during disasters could prove greatly beneficial

By Anthony Galante, Jeremy Nikolow, and Dr. Chuck Russo

On April 25, a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake ripped through the heart of central Nepal. The quake tore through the Kathmandu Valley, which lies along the southern edge of the Himalayas, with a devastating force equivalent to approximately 20 hydrogen bombs.

The resulting devastation crippled the region razing entire villages and cities. There are more than 6,000 confirmed dead, however, the Nepalese Prime Minister said the death toll could exceed 10,000. Almost 500,000 people have been displaced from their homes and are now at risk of starvation, dehydration, injury, illness, and, ultimately, death.

​The geographic extent of this seismic catastrophe has been astonishing. The force of the quake reached Mount Everest, more than 100 miles away, causing an avalanche that killed 19 people and left hundreds stranded. About 90 miles to the north, the shock unleashed a monstrous landslide. Additional deaths and missing persons have been recorded in the neighboring countries of Tibet, India, Bangladesh, and China.

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