The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is collaborating with the Malaysian Emergency Response System (Mers 999) to do aerial surveys and mapping of the areas affected by last Friday’s 5.9-magnitude earthquake, by using UAVs.
Its minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the drones used in the exercise were high-capacity ones that could fly for up to two hours.
“Today, we will test a method to assess the damage that has occurred in the area using drones.
“We have brought three high-capacity drones which can fly for two hours and do aerial surveys through monitors with high-definition resolution,” he said at a press conference held at the post-earthquake operations centre in Kinabalu Park here.
Ahmad Shabery also witnessed the demonstration of a drone in flight over Kundasang town this morning.
Meanwhile, TM Mers 999 project director, Roznah Anas said the drones, equipped with a camera system, could take clear aerial photographs for more efficient assessment of the situation.
She said the drones could fly in a condition of maximum wind speed of 40 knots.
“The drones that we have brought here are not for recreational purpose, but for search-and-rescue operations, while those handling the drones must also be highly skilled.
“In terms of distance, the drones can reach a surveillance distance of up to 10km. Only during rain and thick mist, we can’t use the drones.”
Roznah said the drone recordings would be handed to the state government and Sabah parks management for assessing the quake damage in the Ranau district.
However, she added, no time-frame had been set for the assessment process as it would depend on weather conditions.
Source: The Rakyat Post