TAIPEI: Taiwan has mobilised its drones, which were introduced to the army earlier this year, for the first time to survey natural disasters, local media reported Sunday.
The unmanned aircraft were sent to areas inundated by flash flooding and mudslides sparked by a monsoon last week, the Taipei-based China Times said.
“The real-time flooding information they collected was transmitted immediately to the disaster command authorities to use in their dispatching of rescue troops and equipment,” the paper quoted an unnamed military source as saying.
No defence ministry officials were immediately available to comment on the report. Six people died and two were left missing after mudslides unleashed by torrential rains hit central Taiwan last week.
Thousands of people were evacuated islandwide in the worst flooding since Typhoon Morakot lashed the island in 2009, triggering massive mudslides that claimed more than 600 lives.
A total of 32 drones, developed by the Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology, were given to the army early this year following a series of tests over three years.