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Supporting earthquake response in Afghanistan and Pakistan

20 November 2015

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On 26 October 2015 a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck the Hindu Kush mountain regions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The earthquake was even felt in New Delhi, India, and Islamabad, Pakistan. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and National Disaster Management Authority in Pakistan (NDMA) requested the UNOSAT Rapid Mapping Service to analyse the severity of damage affecting the Afghanistan and Pakistan regions touched by the seismic tremors.

UNOSAT immediately triggered the International Space Charter, which aims to provide a unified system of space data acquisition and delivery to those affected by natural or man-made disasters. Member agencies of the Space Charter make satellite imagery available in order to help assess the situation on the ground.

UNOSAT was responsible for all coordination and production activities related to satellite imagery assessments. Once images were delivered to the CERN office, UNOSAT analysts started working to evaluate damage to specific regions and towns as requested by both UNOCHA and NDMA Pakistan.

Source: United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

Image credit: Airbus Defence and Space - Damage assessment of Aliabad area in Pakistan