Landsat's Critical Role in Responding to Natural Disasters
In 2011, natural disasters affected 206 million people worldwide, costing a record-setting 355 billion dollars. Fire, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters can be particularly tragic and costly when critical facilities such as power plants, airports, roads, and hospitals are threatened. When a disaster strikes, remote sensing is often the only way to get a big-picture view of what is happening on the ground. With its consistent, reliable, repeated observations of Earth’s changing surface, Landsat keeps a record of Earth’s land surfaces before and after disasters, serving as an essential tool for assessing risk, mapping the extent of damage, and planning post-disaster recovery. Landsat produces 185-kilometer-wide images with 30-meter resolution in visible and infrared wavelengths of light, making it possible to map impacts on the landscape in ways otherwise not visible to human sight. For example, Landsat sensors enable us to see the heat from fires both during and after the burns, and the lava flows from volcanic eruptions even when gaseous substances obscure the view to human eyes.
A new collaborative platform has been developed to help Vietnam plan for and respond to flooding.
You can think of the Charter as a one-stop-shop for impact maps.
The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a person who can activate the charter.
This month, three Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.
This month, one Landsat scene was ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.