Satellite partnership keeps Vietnam a step ahead of floods

Vietnam and its neighbors have always been vulnerable to water disasters: Too much rain brings dangerous floods and too little leads to drought. But a program backed by NASA, the U.S. space agency, is helping to change that by enabling Vietnamese officials to use satellite imagery and field data to better predict the weather.

“I can use this understanding to help people in my country,” said Vu Huu Long of the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology.

The project allows Long to access Google Earth Engine software’s satellite imagery and datasets. It’s a game-changer for Long.

Since he first tapped Earth Engine’s processing power, analytical tools and data storage in 2016, he has improved disaster preparedness throughout Vietnam. The satellite data is saving lives. Long and his government colleagues have used the software to better monitor reservoirs, map potential floods and plan crops.

“As [the software] becomes more popular, it will improve decision-making, with faster information and more accurate results,” Long said. The program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development in cooperation with NASA and implemented by the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center.

A longer version of this story appears on USAID’s website.