JUIDA Drone Relief Japan Earthquake

Uniting Forces: Innovating Relief Efforts through Drone Technology in Post-Earthquake Japan

This article published in collaboration with JUIDA, the Japan UAS Industrial Development Association.

In the wake of the devastating Noto Peninsula Earthquake that struck on January 1, 2024, Japan’s response has been characterized by innovative drone technology and collaborative relief efforts spearheaded by various companies in partnership with the Japan UAS Industrial Development Association (JUIDA).

JUIDA, in coordination with the local government and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) 10th Division, swiftly dispatched an integrated crisis general manager to the affected area. Together with partner companies, they initiated a wide array of activities, including searching for victims, delivering medicine, conducting aerial photography of the affected regions, and monitoring sediment dams using drone ports over an extended period. According to JUIDA, this marks the first large-scale, systematic operation of unmanned aerial vehicles during a disaster in Japan.

Among the companies involved, Blue Innovation was among the first to announce its disaster relief activities in Wajima City. Utilizing drones and drone ports under JUIDA’s supervision, Blue Innovation focused on assessing the risk of dam collapses by deploying drones to monitor sediment dams in real-time along the Ushio River.

Drone Operation, another key player, commenced relief activities soon after the earthquake, based on information provided by JUIDA. They strategically identified isolated evacuation centers and delivered essential supplies such as medicine via drones, establishing regular delivery routes to ensure ongoing support.

Japan DMC swiftly joined efforts in supporting local recovery by leveraging drone technology. Following consultations with JUIDA and local authorities, Japan DMC conducted comprehensive field surveys at priority sites in Wajima City and Suzu City, aiding in data analysis and recovery planning.

Eams Robotics, utilizing multiple UAV models, focused on assessing coastal damage and changes in sea conditions primarily in Wajima City and Suzu City. Collaborating with various organizations, they shared critical orthomosaic data on disaster information sites, facilitating informed decision-making for relief operations.

drone regulations in Japan, drone delivery in Japan

Courtesy: SkyDrive

SkyDrive contributed significantly by utilizing drones to assess damage and transport supplies to isolated villages affected by landslides. With their specialized drone, SkyLift P300S, capable of carrying heavy loads in challenging terrains, they provided essential support from January 8th to 14th at the request of the JGSDF’s 10th Artillery Regiment.

The collaborative efforts and innovative use of drone technology by these companies, in partnership with JUIDA and local authorities, underscore a proactive and efficient approach to disaster relief in Japan. As recovery efforts continue, such initiatives exemplify the pivotal role of technology and cooperation in mitigating the impact of natural disasters on affected communities.

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