SpaceX Starlink to Help Flood Recovery Efforts in Italy

In a move to bolster disaster recovery efforts in flood-devastated regions of Italy, Unipol Gruppo SpA, the renowned Italian insurance firm, has announced the purchase of Starlink terminals from Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

This strategic partnership is expected to significantly enhance communications and support for victims and emergency workers grappling with the devastating aftermath of the floods, reports Bloomberg.

Last week, catastrophic flooding in the northern Emilia-Romagna region claimed over a dozen lives, displacing around 10,000 residents, according to reports from the Ansa news agency. As efforts persist to reach remote villages and farms isolated by the flood, an estimated 20,000 individuals have been left without power.

The Starlink terminals procured by Unipol will leverage satellite technology to provide critical web services to the affected areas. This would ensure that rescue teams, essential service providers, and the victims of the flood maintain access to the internet, a necessity in today’s interconnected world. Unipol has further stated that SpaceX will be repositioning some of its satellites to prioritize coverage for the afflicted region.

Experts predict the disaster may inflict a hefty €1.5 billion in damage to Italy’s agricultural sector, highlighting the significance of these urgent recovery initiatives.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has reportedly left the G7 summit in Japan earlier than planned.  Sources have indicated that she intends to directly participate in the response efforts, underlining the gravity of the crisis at home.

Update May 21: SpaceX has confirmed and shared some pictures of its Starlink satellites in Italy:

On Friday, May 19 at 2:19 a.m. ET, Falcon 9 launched 22 second-generation Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.

On Friday, SpaceX launched another batch of second-gen Starlink satellites to low-Earth orbit at 2:19 a.m. ET, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. Check out the replay below:

YouTube video