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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 8 | Copyright
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 2165-2178, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 25 Aug 2014

Research article | 25 Aug 2014

Application and prospect of a high-resolution remote sensing and geo-information system in estimating earthquake casualties

T. Feng1,2,*, Z. Hong3,5,*, Q. Fu4, S. Ma2, X. Jie2, H. Wu1, C. Jiang2, and X. Tong3 T. Feng et al.
  • 1School of Life Sciences and Technology, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, 200092, China
  • 2Department of Disaster and Emergency Medicine, Eastern Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, 150 Jimo Road, Shanghai, 200120, China
  • 3College of Surveying and Geo-Informatics, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, 200092, China
  • 4Research Institute of Structural Engineering and Disaster Reduction, College of Civil Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, 200092, China
  • 5College of Information technology, Shanghai Ocean University, 999 Huchenghuan Road, Shanghai, 201306, China
  • *These authors contributed equally to this work.

Abstract. An accurate estimation of a casualty rate is critical in response to earthquake disasters, and could allow an increase in the survival rate. Building damage is considered to be a major cause of earthquake casualties in developing countries. High-resolution satellite imagery (HRSI) can be used to detect the building damage in a period of a short time. This makes it possible to use a model to estimate earthquake casualties immediately after the occurrence of an earthquake. With respect to the capability of HRSI, this study built a new model for estimating the casualty rate in an earthquake disaster based on remote sensing and a geographical information system. Three groups of earthquake data, the 2003 Bam earthquake, the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and the 2010 Yushu earthquake, were used to evaluate this model. The results indicated that our new model significantly improved the accuracy in predicting the casualty rate. The parameters used in the model vary between developed and developing countries. This study could provide valuable information for a more efficient rescue operation in response to earthquakes.

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