Earthquake relief: How NASA is helping Turkey and Syria relief operations

 Horrific, magnitude 7.8 and 7.5, earthquakes struck southern Turkey and western Syria on February 6. (Reuters)

NASA is now working to share the aerial views and data from space in meaningful ways that can bring aid relief and recovery workers to the affected regions quickly. (Reuters)

"NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said, “NASA is our eyes in the sky, and our teams of experts are working hard to provide valuable information from our Earth-observing fleet to first responders on the ground.” (Reuters)

One of the technologies deployed is the synthetic aperture radar, or SAR. Viewing Earth in all weather conditions, day or night, SAR is used to measure how the ground moves and built landscape changes after this type of event. (Reuters)

 A team of scientists used the scenes that were collected before and after the earthquake to create something called a damage proxy map for Turkey.  (Reuters)

These maps compare before and after radar images of a given event to see how the landscape has changed. (AP)

Members of the disasters program make such maps available to a wide range of global organizations. (AP)

NASA also provides observations and maps via their Disaster Mapping Portal. (AP)

In addition to assessing damage, NASA scientists use space- and ground-based observations to improve the agency’s ability to understand related events that cascade from the original natural disaster. (AP)

 “Relief efforts include tracking cascading disasters, such as natural hazard-triggered technological disasters,” said Shanna McClain, manager of NASA’s Disaster Program. (AP)

“Damaged infrastructure and pipeline bursts are something we want to identify quickly to protect the health of people nearby.” (AP)

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