In further evidence of the way the reducing cost of technology is saving lives, USGS posted a video showing unmaned drones sent to map and monitor lava flows following the eruption of Kīlauea in Hawaii. Analysis of the drone footage picked up a previously unknown but fast moving flow heading towards an as-yet unevacuated residential area. After notifying the Emergency Operations Centre, it became clear that a resident was stranded in the danger area, and he was instructed to "follow the drone" to safety. In addition to this sort of direct assistance, the drone allowed teams to track lava advancement rates to prioritise further rescue efforts.
A USGS UAS mission in Kīlauea volcano’s lower East Rift Zone on May 27, 2018, helps prompt and guide evacuations and leads to the successful rescue of a resident after a lava pond outbreak sent a…