There’s a new kid in town that journalists and broadcasters are testing recently in delivering news in crisis-and-disaster zones – drone technology.
In the Philippines, UNTV appears to be the first and only local media channel to capture the immense damage wrought by Yolanda in Leyte using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone technology.
The use of drone in disaster zones is justified, where walking or driving are very impossible to mount.
In other countries, drones are used for commercial and non-commercial purposes. The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has green-lighted the use of drones for police and government services but not its commercial use.
Amazon, a global leader in online retail, has also recently been testing drones for delivering goods to customers.
UNTV posted a video on its Youtube channel where its drone showed the devastation in Leyte weeks after the strongest typhoon made its landfall in the province. The massive garbage problem was also shown.
According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the worse garbage situation could spiral into massive health problems like Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Amoebiasis and Dengue.
Government officials interviewed by UNTV placed reconstruction will cost P250 billion and will take ten years to rehabilitate the Visayas region.
Meanwhile, Reuters also recently reported that drones were being used to aid in rescue efforts in Tacloban.
Danoffice IT, a Swiss-based technology firm, were said to have deployed two of its drones to scour disaster zones and identify blocked roads. The drones are also said to be helping in recovering dead bodies.