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Devastation in California: Santa Rosa's Fires

Douglas Thron

One of the ironies of the beauty of the great USA state of California is how fragile it all is.  Earthquakes, mudslides, and forest fires regularly visit devastation on the Golden State.  In this video, top contributor and pilot Douglas Thron used a drone to show the devastation of local homes in the Santa Rosa area, north of San Francisco, from a wildfire which raged out of control for days during the month of October, 2017.  This production was shared by many media outlets across the country. 

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The Drone Dish: nelsonaerialpros

The Drone Dish

Description: Jordan Nelson is a professional drone pilot based in North Carolina. His company, Nelson Aerial Productions, offers drone services of all shapes and sizes. One of his specialties is using drones to chronicle natural disasters.  In this episode, host Tyler Mason catches up with Jordan to talk about his aerial video work, and his desire to use drone to both document natural disasters and help their victims.  

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After Tragedy The Ruins Still stand.. Gramalote, Colombia


In a land full of rainforests and mountains, mudslides and floodings are an all-too-common occurrence in Colombia. In this poignant film, Alejandrogutierrezlonga flies over the still-standing historic ruins of Gramalote, Colombia, abandoned after devastating mudslides and floods. The somber footage captures the dignity of the once beautiful structures that have, at least for now, escaped total destruction. The city is located in North Santander, one of the 32 departments (states) into which Colombia is divided.

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Hurricane Matthew Devastates NC


In October, 2016, Hurricane Harvey ended a twelve year period where no hurricane hit the USA's mainland.  The hurricane caused over $125 billion in damage and was roughly comparable in severity to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  A small town in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina was hit by major flooding following the storm, as chronicled in this video by contributor Nelson Aerial Pros.

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Post-Hurricane Mapping in Puerto Rico - Global Air Media


Hurricane Maria devestated large areas around the Caribbean Sea in late 2017.  Amongst the hardest hit areas was the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a US territory which bore the brunt of the historic storm.  The island saw some of the worst devastation from a natural disaster ever visited on US soil, with over a thousand people killed and some areas enduring months without power.  In this video, content creator and drone pilot Global Air Media shows how drone mapping was used in the disaster recovery. 

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The Mountain Flood


A small town in the Smokey Mountains of North Carolina in the USA was hit by a major flood in October, 2017.  Professional drone pilot and contributor Jordan Nelson used a drone to chronicle the devastation wreaked on this small town.  He has won several drone film festivals, and has been an advocate of using UAV's to document natural disasters.  

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Droning a Volcano Eruption


Contributor and drone pilot AerialRhianna was able to aerially capture an eruption of Mt. Sinabung, a very active volcano in the north central part of the gigantic island of Sumatra in Indonesia.  After four centuries of dormancy, the volcano began erupting again in 2010.  This video was filmed during an eruption event in 2013, which casued the evacuation of almost 4,000 people.  There were further eruptions in 2014 and 2016;  the latter case, an eruption killed seven people who were in the area.  

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Rosita Storm - Catanduanes

Contributor and drone pilot shares aerial footage of tropical storm Rosita taking over a beach on the Catanduanes Island in the Philippines.  It's part of the Bicol region, off the southeastern part of Luzon, the most populous island in the country.  The relaxing vibe of the island is suddenly shaken when a violent wave sweeps in, flooding the entire beach full of vacationers and grass covered huts. How do things turn out in the aftermath of Rosita? Keep watching to see for yourself.

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Devasting Malibu Woolsey FIRE Aftermath Drone Footage


In the fall of 2018, destruction and tragedy came in the form of blazes when the Woolsey wildfire swept through areas of the Los Angeles and Ventura counties in California.  Contributor jayxlamar documented with his drone how the inferno completely ravaged a residential area .  The aerial footage reveals that all that remains are swimming pools, chimneys, and a few lucky properties that were untouched.

4:09 click to play video

Dog Spotted by Drone and Rescued in Bahamas After Hurricane Dorian

Douglas Thron

Top contributor Douglas Thron has gained international recognition for his use of drone photography and video to visually convey the tragedy of natural disasters.  In this video, his skills are put to use in the Bahamas, parts of which were devastated by Hurricane Dorian when one of history's most powerful storms ripped through the islands in August of 2019.  In this case, his drones served an additional purpose - they were used to find rescue dogs that were regularly becoming trapped in the wreckage.  

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This video by contributor and drone pilot Hamdani captures the Indonesian island of Lombok as it recovered from a powerful earthquake in 2018.   The main shock, which occurred on August 5, 2018, registered a 7.0 on the Richter Scale.  It was preceded and succeeded by quakes in the 6+ range.  The epicenter was near a small town in the North Lombok Regency, in the northern part of the island.  Lombok is the principal island of the West Nusa Tengarra region, immediately east of Bali in southern Indonesia.  

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San Francisco Smoke


Sfdrones created this amazing (if haunting) drone video of San Francisco choked in smoke from nearby wildfires.  As the sun struggles to fight through the smoke, you will see some of the most familiar (and beautiful) sights of the city (including the Financial District and Rincon Park) from a completely different perspective.  The most chilling footage shows the new Salesforce Tower, now the tallest building in the city, looming menacingly in the distance.  The smoke triggered major air quality alerts.