EU Sends Satellites to Help Map Harvey’s Devastation

(CN) – The European Commission said Wednesday it had made the EU’s emergency-management program Copernicus available to U.S. authorities to map the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency asked the EU to activate Copernicus, which will provide damage-assessment maps of several areas of Texas affected by Harvey.

“The European Union knows very well how devastating natural disasters can be, and our thoughts and solidarity are with all the American people affected by this deadly hurricane,” commission vice president Federica Mogherini said in a statement. “The U.S. can count on the European Union as a strong and an historic ally for all our support.”

Fully operational in 2014, Copernicus is the world’s largest single earth observation program and is operated by the commission in partnership with the European Space Agency.

Copernicus’ satellites, known as Sentinels, provide weather, ocean, land and atmospheric monitoring. Mostly recently, the EU has used data from the Sentinels to map the forest fires plaguing Southern Europe and to assess the devastation from the series of earthquakes that has rocked Italy in recent months.

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