Cyclone Fani: 5 ISRO satellites that saved many lives

Eastern coast of India was recently thrashed by an extremely severe cyclone 'Fani'. It was moving with a speed of around 200 km per hour. It has caused severe destruction in Orissa, West Bengal, and Bangladesh. It could have taken the lives of thousands of people living in the coastal region if the Indian satellites were not tracking the southern Indian Ocean.

The satellites which were launched by ISRO(Indian Space Research Organization) were sending data every 15 minutes to the ground station. This data helped the IMD(Indian Meteorological Department) to forecast and warn about the deadly cyclone. IMD accurately forecasted the exact location where the cyclone would hit. This helped the officials in Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, and West Bengal to evacuate around 11 lakh people to the safe places and minimized the loss of life by this cyclone.

The five satellites that constantly sent data about the cyclone were Insat-3D, Insat-3DR, Scatsat-1, Oceansat-2, and Megha Tropiques. The data sent by the satellites was helpful to forecast the speed, location, and impact of the cyclone Fani.

Insat-3D is a meteorological satellite that studies the weather pattern and also helps in rescue and search operation. It was launched by ISRO on July 26, 2013, from French Guiana. Insat-3DR is an Indian weather satellite by ISRO(Indian Space Research Organization) and operated by Indian National Satellite System. It was launched on September 08, 2016 and is a follow-up to INSAT-3D.

Scatsat-1 is a weather forecasting, cyclone prediction satellite which provides tracking services to India. It was launched on September 26, 2016, by PSLV-C35. Oceansat-2 is used to study winds and ocean and provide data related to it. It was launched on September 23, 2009 by PSLV-C14. Megha Tropiques was developed by ISRO and French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), to study the water cycle in the tropical atmosphere. It was launched on October 12, 2011.

The United Nations, primarily the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction(UNDRR) have praised India for its early warning system that saved the lives of thousands of people from Cyclone  Fani.

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