DLR supports humanitarian relief work in Java's earthquake zones
31 May 2006
Earthquake damage in the Bantul region, Indonesia
DLR's Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) is involved in emergency mapping of the earthquake-affected areas on the Indonesian island Java, hit by a magnitude 6.2 (USGS) earthquake on the morning of 27 May 2006. On Tuesday, 30 May, scientists created the first high-resolution satellite photographs from the crisis region around Bantul.
The images came from the IKONOS satellite, operated by the company Space Imaging. Further images from the satellites SPOT, Envisat and Quickbird reached the ZKI during the day on Wednesday. ZKI staff provided image maps based on these satellite data to local relief agencies as key tools for planning rescue activities.
In addition, the ZKI is preparing geo-based data sets for on-site auxiliary workers. These include terrain elevation models, which assist local rescue teams to bring relief assistance to injured people quicker by accessing affected areas faster. So far, the earthquake on Java has caused the deaths of more than 5,000 people, with 20,000 injured and 200,000 without shelter.
A formal request was initiated by Germany's Foreign Office last Saturday to provide assistance to local relief agencies under the terms of the "International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters'." Among other agencies, the German Red Cross is also operating in the affected quake zones. Following activation of the charter, the ZKI took over management of the response and, within the framework of the European GMES service element 'Respond', is producing the maps and high-resolution satellite images.
The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information is a service of DLR's German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD). Its function is the rapid acquisition, processing and analysis of satellite data and the provision of satellite-based information products on natural and environmental disasters for humanitarian relief activities, as well as in the context of civil security. The analyses are tailored to meet the specific requirements of national and international political bodies as well as humanitarian relief organizations. Recently, the ZKI provided key assistance during the devastating earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005 and during flooding of the Elbe and Danube rivers in April 2006.