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Copernicus satellite images support rescue teams to tackle floods in Sardinia

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Cyclone Cleopatra passed through Sardinia on the night of 18th November, causing severe flooding, substantial damage to infrastructures and several casualties across the island.

The city and province of Olbia in Sardinia's northeast were among the worst affected areas. The Italian Civil Protection department has activated last night the Copernicus Emergency Management Service requesting the production of overview and detail maps of some of the worst affected areas.

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service started immediately collecting pre-event airborne images in order to provide reference maps the following afternoon (i.e. 19th November). These maps use pre-event images, captured as close as possible prior to the event, to provide comparison points prior and after the event.

In parallel, the service is working on the preparation of maps to delineate the flood extent . To that end, radar-based imagery which is not hampered by adverse weather conditions will be used.

In a second phase, grading maps will be produced in order to assess the extent of the damage. These maps are based on optical imagery that allow the clear visualisation of the extent of the damages, but can be acquired only in cloud-free conditions. At the moment, weather conditions are continuously being monitored and as soon as the weather permits it, optical images of the flood areas will be acquired.

The Copernicus Emergency Management Service will continue to support the Italian Civil Protection department to quickly react and manage the disaster.

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