Intelsat, SES Donate Satellite Capacity to Hurricane Matthew Relief in Haiti
[Via Satellite 10-24-2016] Global satellite operators Intelsat and SES have both donated satellite capacity to humanitarian efforts in Haiti following the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Intelsat for 90 days is providing high throughput Ku-band capacity from the Intelsat 29e satellite to the American Red Cross, which has a VSAT connection at its facility in Les Cayes. SES is supplying C-band capacity from SES 6 to emergency.lu, a public-private partnership between the Luxembourg government and three Luxembourg-based companies — SES Techcom Services, Hitec Luxembourg and Luxembourg Air Ambulance.
Hurricane Matthew passed over the southwestern peninsula of Haiti on Oct. 4, killing hundreds, destroying thousands of homes, and leaving an estimated 1.4 million Haitians in urgent need of humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations. The category 4 hurricane was the strongest to impact Haiti since 1964, with wind velocities exceeding 235 km/h.
“When a natural disaster such as the hurricane in Haiti strikes, infrastructure is badly damaged or destroyed completely. Communication networks are overloaded by people sourcing help and information or trying to contact relatives,” said Gerhard Bethscheider, managing director of SES Techcom Services. “Satellite is the only infrastructure which enables communication networks to be restored quickly, facilitating the roll-out of coordinated humanitarian assistance and aid.”