Cyclone Nargis Rapid Response - IKONOS Images Assess Burma (Myanmar) Damage

As aid workers from around the globe rush to send food, water, and medical care to the storm-ravaged Irrawaddy Delta region of Burma, GeoEye?s IKONOS Satellite tracks the extent of Cyclone Nargis? damage.

With a death toll expected to exceed 100,000 or higher, Cyclone Nargis is the deadliest storm since 1991 when a category four cyclone demolished the Chittagong area of Bangladesh. As relief workers struggle with political red tape and survivors plead for food and clean water, images from the IKONOS Satellite record the aftermath of the storm.

To view the before and after satellite images of Cyclone Nargis visit http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NewImages/Images/rangoon_iko_2008128.jpg

Satellite Imaging and Disaster Response
?Using satellite imaging, we can get a better view of the damage within the city of Rangoon (Yangon) ? we will be able to see areas where houses have been destroyed, trees have been wiped out and areas are flooded,? said Leo Romeijn of Houston-based Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC).

Remote-sensing technologies enable local, state, and national and international agencies to quickly assess damage caused by natural disasters including tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Satellite images can be used to view storm damage from multiple vantage points and can help with the planning of disaster recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Images collected before and after Nargis slammed into the Burma coastline illustrate just how quickly flood waters rushed and swelled over the network of creeks that meander through the lower Irrawaddy delta. The storm, which started as a category four cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, reached land as a category three, with winds reaching up to 150 miles per hour. The strong winds, rain, and tidal waves pummeled the low-lying region, which is home to about a quarter of Burma?s 57 million people.

Data collected from the IKONOS Satellite will help determine the extent of Nargis? damage and plan recovery efforts. Additionally, the information may even help minimize losses in future natural disasters. Because satellite images provide up-to-date information, scientists are better able to gauge the strength and the path of hurricanes and cyclones, as well as monitor any changes as the storms reach land.

?These <1m high-resolution satellite images help us understand what is physically going on,? Romeijn said. ?It?s difficult to respond to a disaster when you hear about it, but you don?t see anything. This information is critical for support and recovery agencies ? they have to understand the extent of the damage.?

In 2005, the IKONOS Satellite captured images of the catastrophic flooding after Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans. Like Burma?s Irrawaddy Delta, the low-lying, bowl-shaped region was submerged as the levees broke, and storm waters rushed into the city. In addition to detecting changes in the landscape and coastline, satellite imaging can help government agencies assess the damage done to buildings, bridges, and roads.

About the IKONOS
Launched in September, 1999, the high-resolution IKONOS Satellite captures 0.82-meter panchromatic and 3.2-meter multispectral images which are useful in hundreds of applications including disaster recovery, environmental studies, tax mapping, agricultural and forest analysis, mining, engineering, and construction.

To view an image of the IKONOS Satellite visit http://www.satimagingcorp.com/media/images/ikonos-satellite.jpg

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC)
Satellite Imaging Corporation provides processed high and medium satellite imagery in support of many industry applications using commercial satellites including IKONOS, QuickBird, ASTER, ALOS, SPOT-5 and others sensors. The processed images help plan for and offset environmental damage due to natural disasters, climate change, and shifts in vegetation. For more information about the IKONOS and other satellite sensors, or imaging solutions from Satellite Imaging Corporation, please call 1-832-237-2900, or visit www.satimagingcorp.com.

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Contact Details

Company Name: Satellite Imaging Corpor ation
Issued By: Leo J. Romeijn
Phone: (866) 283-2952
Address: 12777 Jones Road, Suite 370 Houston, TX
Zip: 77070
Website: Visit the website

by Leo J. Romeijn (few years ago!)

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