Satcoms support relief effort in storm-hit Mexico

Attempts to reach remote communities in Mexico cut off by floods and landslides were helped by Inmarsat mobile satellite services.

Aid agency Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) has been working in the country since vast areas were hit by tropical storms.

With many roads and bridges destroyed, isolated villages were left impossible to reach after the storms – named Manuel and Ingrid – struck south-west Mexico.

Remote communities
TSF and the Mexican Red Cross used a Cobham Explorer 325 vehicular BGAN terminal to co-ordinate relief efforts in the most remote communities in the state of Guerrero.

“The mountain roads are extremely difficult to navigate, and the regular mobile service is extremely unreliable,” said TSF spokesman Alexander Thomas.

“Being able to make calls on the move using the Explorer 325 meant that the Mexican Red Cross did not lose any time in co-ordinating their actions and were able to get straight to work when they arrived in the town of Iyotla.”

Aerial surveillance
Since arriving in Mexico on 22 September, TSF has been working with government emergency aid workers in the field and aerial surveillance search and rescue teams.
The Inmarsat-sponsored aid agency provided satellite phones to the Mexican Red Cross and set up humanitarian calling operations for survivors desperate to let loved-ones know they were safe.
Over 100 people are reported to have died in the storms, with more than100,000 affected.