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Turkey earthquake disaster seen from space

Battle earthquake originally originated from a fault extending 18 km below the land surface. The epicenter was shallow, so the quake produced intense tremors, affecting areas hundreds of kilometers from the epicenter. About 9 hours after the first quake was a 7.5 magnitude earthquake, and hundreds of aftershocks.

Turkey earthquake disaster seen from space - Photo 1.

Map showing damage estimates of several earthquake-affected areas in Turkey.

Scientists at space agencies around the world—including NASA—have begun processing and analyzing satellite data related to the event.

Eric Fielding, geophysicist at NASA, said: “This is a very large earthquake, breaking the entire surface and long faults. This created a very strong tremor over a very large area, hitting many cities and towns crowded with people. The length and intensity of the fracture is similar to the 1906 earthquake that destroyed San Francisco.”

Preliminary damage map showing parts of the cities of Türkoğlu, Kahramanmaraş and Nurdaği, with dark red pixels indicating areas of potential for serious damage to buildings, infrastructure or alter the landscape, while the orange and yellow areas are moderately or partially damaged. Each pixel is about 30 meters (the size of a baseball field).

Turkey earthquake disaster seen from space - Photo 3.

Map showing damage estimates of several earthquake-affected areas in Turkey.

The map is derived from data collected by PALSAR-2 on the Advanced Ground Observation Satellite-2 (ALOS-2) on February 8, 2023. The satellite uses a radar, a sensor that sends microwave pulses toward the Earth’s surface and relies on the reflections of those waves to map the landscape, including buildings. By comparing the February 8 data with observations of the same satellite before the earthquake (on April 7, 2021 and April 6, 2022), the scientists tracked changes and start identifying damaged areas.

“The map only covers the central part of the affected area with the narrow, 70 km long ALOS-2 fine-beam data band used, the area including the epicenters of both the magnitude 7 main earthquake, 8 degrees and aftershocks of 7.5 degrees,” Fielding said. “Note that the time interval between ALOS-2 data is up to a year apart, so map accuracy may be lower in vegetated areas such as in the mountains, due to variations in season”.

NASA is also in the process of sharing maps and data with organizations such as the US Department of State, the California Seismic Safety Commission, the Miyamoto Global Disaster Relief Organization, and the World Bank, to assess needs stakeholder needs in the region and support risk assessment and recovery efforts.

Shanna McClain, program manager said: “We are closely monitoring this event. In addition to mapping possible damage from satellites, we are using satellites to monitor increased landslide hazards, power outages and weather that could pose challenges to efforts. cope with”.

(Source: NASA Earth)

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