Space Technology for Natural Disaster Management

Research Article
Prafulla Kumar Panda and Suchitra Kumari Panda
Natural Disasters, Earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes, Remote Sensing, GIS.

Natural disasters are extreme events within the earth's system that result in death or injury to humans, and damage or loss of valuable properties, such as buildings, communication systems, agricultural land, forest, natural environment etc. The economic losses due to natural disasters have shown an increase with a factor of eight over the past four decades, caused by the increased vulnerability of the global society, but also due to an increase in the number of weather-related disasters. For the management of natural disasters a large amount of multi -temporal spatial data is required. Satellite remote sensing is the ideal tool for disaster management, since it offers information over large areas, and at short time intervals. Although it can be utilised in the various phases of disaster management, such as prevention, preparedness, relief, and reconstruction, in practice up till now it is mostly used for warning and monitoring. During the last decades space technology has become an operational tool in the disaster preparedness and warning phases for cyclones, droughts, and floods. The use of remote sensing is not possible without a proper tool to handle the large amounts of data and combine it with data coming from other sources, such as maps or measurement stations. Therefore, together with the growth of the remote sensing applications, Geographic Information Systems have become increasingly important for disaster management. This chapter gives a review of the use of space inputs and GIS for a number of major disaster types.