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On April 24, a 7.8 earthquake, the most devastating in 80 years, struck Nepal, killing thousands and reducing its capital city, Kathmandu, to rubble. Roads have been damaged or covered by landslides making rescue efforts more difficult in one of Asia’s most impoverished and rural countries. In this situation, aerial drones, could be used to provide relief workers with a better understanding of the situation, help locate survivors in the rubble, perform structural analysis of damaged infrastructure, deliver needed supplies and equipment, evacuate casualties, and help extinguish fires. These are just a few of the potential peaceful applications for which drones can be used as outlined in a report released April 27.

Zurich North America showcased findings of the study detailing how drones can help first responders and improve relief efforts following a disaster. Zurich—a co-sponsor of the study—discussed the details at a news conference on April 27 in New Orleans to kick off the annual Risk Insurance Management Society’s (RIMS) annual conference & exhibition, which brings together thousands of insurance industry professionals, most of whom are based in North America.

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