Earthquake in Japan: first satellite images of the struck areasMarch 14, 2011
Cosmo Sky-Med radars allow to detect flooded areas and evaluate changes
Following the earthquake and tsunamis that hit Japan on March 11, the Civil Protection Department has asked Asia to program the satellites in the Cosmo-SkyMed radar to capture images of the affected areas and to develop products useful to the mapping flooded areas and damage assessment.
The Cosmo-SkyMed radar system allows to detect flooded areas, through interferometry, the evaluation of changes.
The first images from Japan were acquired at 8:45 on 12 March and made available to the Department on March 14. Were immediately processed by the team that operates in less than 4 hours has published the first products on the estimate of flooded areas along the Japanese coast.
The first acquisition made possible to map the effects of the tsunami on a stretch of coast about 400 km from an early analysis seems to represent, in some places, an intrusion into the wave up to 40 km of the coastline. The task of mapping and monitoring of the effects of the tsunami is still ongoing.
This activity, carried out mainly by the Department and from Asia in collaboration with the Centre of Competence Summit Foundation and Opera with the project partners, is part of the initiatives already undertaken by the ASI on previous national and international emergencies, to assess the contribution of satellite technology in the immediate scenario analysis in assessing the damage and in planning interventions for the purpose of civil protection.