ZKI satellite mapping supports international humanitarian relief teams in Southeast Asia
In the early morning of Dec. 26th a severe earthquake (30 km below sea level, magnitude 9) caused Tsunami flood waves in the Indian Ocean, which struck the coastal regions of Sumatra, Thailand, Sri Lanka and southern India. Due to the immense extent of the affected coastal areas, images from earth observing satellites have turned out to be a valuable support tool for international relief activities in the aftermath of the disaster.
In close cooperation with international partners such as UNOSAT, the Joint Research Centre JRC of the European Commission, Infoterra UK and SERTIT, the Centre for satellite-based Crisis Information ZKI of the German Aerospace Center DLR has taken over responsibility for the acquisition of satellite data, the generation of image maps, and their dissemination to various relief organisations via the Internet. ZKI concentrates its activities on Sumatra and Thailand. This up-to-date mapping covering large areas enables disaster managers to achieve an overview of the recent situation, to assess the damage, and to supply local logistic teams with reliable information.
ZKI provides this service for:
- the crisis reaction team of Germany's Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt)
- the joint federal situation and information center, GMLZ
- the German technical relief agency, THW
- the German Red Cross, DRK
- Greenpeace, and "Medicins Sans Frontières", MSF
- the geoinformation department of the German Army, AGeoBw
- the press and the public
and operates in close cooperation with the RESPOND Service Element of the European Space Agency, ESA.
The image maps provided through the ZKI website were produced both from archived pre-disaster imagery and from recent post-disaster satellite images. This combination allows easy and quantitative damage assessment by visual change detection.