NASA developing techs to assist Nepal quake relief

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), with some of its partners, is studying the April 25 earthquake closely so as to assist in relief activities.

They are developing “vulnerability maps,” used to determine risks that may be present; and “damage proxy maps,” used to determine the type and extent of existing damage, NASA said.

It wrote on May 1 that the organisations including NASA, U.S. Geological Survey, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, World Bank, American Red Cross, and the United Nations Children’s Fund are “gathering the best available science and information” on the magnitude-7.6 Gorkha earthquake.

“The satellite data will be used to compile maps of ground surface deformation and to create risk models,” it said, “NASA and its partners are also contributing to assessments of damage to infrastructure.”

The researchers are tracking remote areas that may be a challenge for relief workers to reach, as well as areas that could be at risk for landslides, river damming, floods and avalanches, the organisation said.

“NASA is helping get satellite data into the hands of government officials in Nepal where Internet bandwidth is limited,” it informed.

Meanwhile, NASA is using a technology that can locate people trapped beneath collapsed buildings in rescue works after the quake. The technology “can locate individuals buried as deep as 30 feet (9.1 metres) in crushed materials, hidden behind 20 feet (6 metres) of solid concrete, and from a distance of 100 feet (30.5 metres) in open spaces.”

Source: THT