USING EARTH OBSERVATION TO SUPPORT FIRST AID RESPONSE IN CRISIS SITUATIONS– LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE EARTHQUAKE IN TÜRKIYE/SYRIA (2023)
Keywords: Earth Observation, Earthquake, Rapid Mapping, Crisis Response, Very High-Resolution Satellite Data, Damage Assessment
Abstract. In the early morning hours on Tuesday, February 6, 2023, the southern part of Türkiye was struck by two large and several smaller earthquakes, causing destruction and casualties over a remarkably large area. In such cases, quick response and well-informed coordination is a key factor to successful first aid responses since damage and the number of people buried or in need often remain unclear in the hours after the disaster. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) responded to the earthquake by rapidly providing a number of information products, all above very high-resolution imagery in an easy-to-use web-based application. Next to satellite and drone imagery, damage information and pre-disaster imagery were provided to the users. Drone imagery was acquired in person for Kirikhan, a city in the south of the disaster area. Access to the viewer was granted to authorized users from public authorities, humanitarian aid organisations, and research institutes. Furthermore, DLR generated information products in the fields of settlement pattern, AI based damage assessment and tectonic movements. These data, as scientifically significant as they are, were not part of the web viewer. Within this paper, the reasons will be assessed as well as the general workflow of the activation. The paper will also discuss what steps need to be taken to ensure research outcomes being integrated into information products for users in future and how to prepare for the next disaster to still ensure a quick response but with an enriched product suite.