by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (SPX) Jan 23, 2012
SES S.A. and its partners in emergency.lu announce that the emergency.lu communication service has been successfully deployed in full operational field service for the first time. emergency.lu has been installed in Bentiu and Maban (South Sudan) by a team comprised of Luxembourg Civil Protection, the UN WFP (World Food Programme) and the Ericsson Response Team.
Emergency.lu is a rapid communications solution for global disaster relief and humanitarian missions, developed and implemented as a public-private partnership by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg in collaboration with a consortium of Luxembourg companies and organisations: SES TechCom, Hitec and Luxembourg Air Rescue.
It is designed to help the humanitarian and civil protection community in the field to (re-) establish telecommunication services and support effective communication and coordination of first responders. Emergency.lu can be deployed anywhere in the world within hours of a natural catastrophe or man-made crisis.
The emergency.lu solution consists of satellite infrastructure and capacity, communication and coordination services, and satellite ground terminals as well as transportation of equipment to disaster areas all over the world.
The communication terminals deployed in South Sudan provide vital connectivity for ongoing humanitarian operations of the United Nations. In addition to the infrastructure already operational in Bentiu and Maban, another emergency.lu communication terminal will be deployed in the town of Renk in the coming weeks.
Gerhard Bethscheider, Managing Director of SES TechCom, states: "The emergency.lu platform is an innovative end-to-end communication service for the international humanitarian community designed to improve the effectiveness of rapid response to natural disasters or man-made crises.
"Its deployment in South Sudan provides instant broadband connectivity aimed at helping to coordinate the recovery and development aid efforts in one of the youngest nations of the earth, which continues to suffer from famine and ethnic clashes.
"SES is proud to be associated with emergency.lu and its much needed relief efforts, having helped to establish the system and providing world-wide coverage through its global satellite fleet."
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Disasters cost $366 billion in 2011: UN
Geneva (AFP) Jan 18, 2012
Natural disasters such as the huge earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan caused a record $366 billion (285 million euros) damage in 2011, the UN disaster risk reduction agency UNISDR said on Wednesday. A total of 29,782 people were killed in 302 disasters last year, the body said. Storms and floods accounted for up to 70 percent of catastrophes but earthquakes were the biggest killer. ... read more
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