Bucks charity flies out to tropical storm

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A Bucks charity has deployed volunteers to the Bay of Bengal, which has been hit by a tropical storm.

MapAction deployed early a team of two volunteers in support of a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination mission in Myanmar to assess the impact of the storm.

It caused less damage than feared but still brought tidal surges, heavy rain and strong winds, causing considerable damage in the fishing villages of Bangladesh and, to a lesser extent, Myanmar.

Map Action, based in Saunderton and supported by Aylesbury firm Esri, provides vital information in disaster areas in mapped form, from data gathered at the disaster scene.

Creating a ‘shared operational picture’ it is crucial for making informed decisions and delivering aid to the right place, quickly.

Liz Hughes, MapAction’s chief executive said: “It is great to get ahead of the storm and this early deployment of the UNDAC team with MapAction and Telecomms Sans Frontiers means close co-operation can be established at the earliest stage with the Government authorities leading the response, and with the humanitarian agencies prepositioning relief supplies including, medical supplies, tents and food, in support.”

In 2008 MapAction deployed a team to Myanmar in response to Cycline Nargis, a devastating cyclone that claimed tens of thousands of lives and caused widespread damage to the Ayerarwady Delta area and parts of Yangon.