Home Natural Hazard Management Formosat-2 keeps an eye on Sichuan province events

Formosat-2 keeps an eye on Sichuan province events

China – Earthquake in the Sichuan province is one of the greatest natural disasters for the past few years.
World communities joined the Chinese authorities in these dramatic emergency response activities. Many lives depend on quick response actions of multiple rescue teams.
One of the main problems is river jams created as a result of landslides and rockslides, caused by the quake. Due to such natural river dikes barrier lakes are created upstream flooding the human settlements and arable lands. Another aspect of the problem is a threat of eventual dike breakthrough and formation of downstream water-rock flows of devastating power.
Space monitoring data has been used to monitor changes and condition of created lakes.
Earthquake area has been imaged from several remote-sensing satellites, including TerraSAR-X and EROS B. New images from the Taiwan Formosat-2 satellite enable to track the dynamics of the barrier lake formation (Yansai) in Beichuan province.
The image was acquired in May 2006. It shows the area in spring time prior to the disaster. Two small villages can be seen on the image along the river bank and arable lands nearby. There are roads leading to the bridge on both riversides in the right part of the image.
This example of space images application demonstrates the importance of real-time monitoring from space of the emergency situations developing very quickly. Satellite data enable emergency response groups to quickly assess the situation for maximum efficiency of follow-up rescue activities and forecast of changes. Besides, remote sensing data can be used later for damage assessment and calculation of insurance payments.
Satellite imagery data from Formosat-2 has been used with certain restrictions in Russia as well. ScanEx R&D Center has been supplying it to its clients within the frames of individual projects, using the “virtual reception station” service. In 2008 ScanEx will start to receive Formosat-2 data directly to its own network of UniScan™ ground stations in Russia making this data available to all Russian users with no limits.
According to NASA data, China Daily.