Satellite Images help Japan disaster rescue and recovery efforts

In the aftermath of Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, satellite maps have been a vital part of search and rescue efforts by providing clear pictures of how the land has changed, and where buildings and roads once stood.

Satellite imagery of the areas hit hardest by the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the northeastern coast of Japan on March 11 is being provided by several space agencies and operators around the world to assist the relief efforts currently underway.

Following the massive earthquake, the Cabinet Office of Japan invoked the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters,’ which is a mechanism that ensures timely satellite images are made freely available to authorities and aid workers.

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