The Destruction Caused by the Izmir Earthquake Viewed from Space – 05.11.2020

Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Satellite Communication and Remote Sensing Center (CSCRS) viewed the destruction caused by the 6.6-magnitude earthquake, whose epicenter is in the Seferihisar district of Izmir, from space.

Aegean Sea, Izmir’s Seferihisar district open on 30 October at earthquake in Turkey the law drowns occurred at 14:51, after the earthquake Disaster and Emergency Directorate (AFAD), all under the coordination of search and rescue work started in 17 buildings destroyed in the Flag district has been completed. While 107 people were rescued from under the wreckage, 114 people died and 1035 people were injured due to the earthquake.

Turkey’s first observation satellite ground station and most extensive imagery archive with ITU CSCRS I was to view the devastation created by the earthquake in Izmir and move around doing the necessary planning and satellite programming.

As a result of the preparations made, the debris created by the earthquake was viewed from a distance of approximately 700 kilometers via Pleiades and WorldView-2 (WV-2) satellites. The footage taken from space revealed the effect of the partial tsunami that occurred as a result of the destruction of 17 buildings in Bayraklı, where the earthquake destroyed 17 buildings, and the rise of the sea in Seferihisar.

The wreckage of 9 buildings with graves for 112 people was viewed

Satellite records taken on October 31 showed the wreckage of 9 buildings, in which 112 people died and 81 people survived.

In the footage, the demolition of the Rıza Bey Apartment in Mansuroğlu District, where 37 people died and 19 people, including 3-year-old Ayda Gezgin, were rescued at the 91st hour of the search and rescue efforts, were recorded.

The wreckage of Emrah Site with two blocks, located in the same neighborhood where 30 people lost their lives and 25 earthquake victims were rescued, were also included in the records.

The wreckage of Doğanlar Apartment, another building where the pain of the earthquake was experienced, where 14 people died and 15 people, including 3-year-old Elif Perinçek, were exhumed from the debris for 65 hours from the works, were reflected in the images.

In the records, it was seen that 11 people lost their lives and 2 people survived, and cranes supported the building in order to prevent the collapse of the building during the search and rescue efforts in the 3 blocks that partially collapsed in the 4-block Peace Site in Adalet Mahallesi.

The wreckage of the Yağcıoğlu Apartment in the Manavkuyu ​​District, where 11 people died and 7 people survived, were also featured in the images. It was reflected in the images that the raking Yılmaz Erbek Apartment in the Manavkuyu ​​District, where 9 people died and 13 people were saved by their own means or with the support of the teams, was supported by cranes to prevent it from collapsing during search and rescue operations.

Due to the earthquake, the images of buildings lying on the Cumhuriyet Sitesi drew attention.

Boats toppled in Seferihisar due to the tsunami caused by the earthquake

Satellite images also revealed the effect of the partial tsunami that occurred as a result of the rise of the sea in Seferihisar due to the intensity of the earthquake.

In the records, it was seen that the boats and yachts on the Seferihisar coast were dragged and some of them were lying on their side.

Shared with relevant institutions and researchers requesting satellite recordings

Images for healing the wounds of the disaster and planning shelter and aid in the earthquake zone were shared over the CSCRS web service at the request of researchers working in the region with the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization, Turkish Red Crescent and ITU.

In addition, the images taken in the same region before and the images taken on 31 October after the earthquake can be compared and analyzed through the web service.

Emergency planning was made to capture images in the nearest time frame

ITU CSCRS Director and Civil Engineering Faculty Geomatics Engineering Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Elif Sertel told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the center has been operating since 2000, and that since 2009, they have been producing information such as images, thematic maps and reports for projects and disaster situations.

Stating that the satellites they work with are defined as “earth observation satellites” and that they are approximately 700 kilometers from the ground, Sertel said that the ground stations are necessary to tell the satellite when and which region it will receive or to draw the data it receives, and that the most important task after the satellite is launched is done by the ground stations. CSCRS sense said it was important for Turkey.

Expressing that they made an emergency planning attempt to capture images after hearing about the Izmir earthquake, Sertel continued as follows:

“Earth observation satellites pass over the world at certain hours. The satellites we work with generally receive images between 11.00 and 12.30 hours. Since the earthquake is around noon on Friday, the closest time to view images was in this time zone on Saturday. We made emergency programming for this. There are different satellites we work with. We sent the programming to Airbus’ satellites named Pleiades. The day after the earthquake we got the image of the area. In addition, Maxar company has a satellite named WV-2, we also contacted them. They also received satellite images on the same day. We quickly made the first edits and made them available on our web service. On the other hand, we prepared digital posters. “

Satellite image of the 1200 square kilometer area was taken in 20 minutes

Prof. Dr. Sertel stated that they planned to take images in 2 regions and said, “One of them was determined from the images in the central Bayraklı region, which was the most damage there. The second was Seferihisar and its vicinity. “It takes 4 seconds for the satellite to receive an image from a 600 square kilometer area. It takes a few minutes to download it to the ground station. As a result, we got the image of a very large area in a maximum of 20 minutes.” gave the information.

Pointing to the importance of the viewpoints of the satellites, Sertel said, “The Pleiades satellite took images so that they could see more roofs at a right angle. WV-2 satellite looked more obliquely, took images from a 33-degree perspective. The images were such that the number of floors of the buildings could be determined. “We used the advantage of taking the view from the angle. We preferred knowing the angle difference in order to see the building both from the top and from the side.” he spoke.

“It is possible to easily find demolished buildings using satellite technology”

Sertel conveyed her observations and evaluations regarding the satellite images they took in Bayraklı as follows:

“We compared the before and after images of the demolished buildings such as Emrah Apartment, Rıza Bey Apartment and Doğanlar Apartments, which are mentioned a lot in the news. Even the crane in front of the Rıza Bey Apartment is visible in the images. It is possible to easily find the demolished buildings using satellite technology. The Yılmaz Erbek Apartment was tilted sideways due to the earthquake. The satellite image also shows that the building is tilted to the right. You can see the collapsed side facade of the Karagöl Apartment and the collapsed Yağcıoğlu Apartment, which were also featured in the media. We can see the cranes as they exercise. The collapse of the building on the corner of Cumhuriyet Sitesi is very evident in both WV-2 and Pleiades. “

Prof. Dr. Sertel added that they also monitored the tents and gathering areas established by AFAD, and that this is advantageous for the Red Crescent to plan aid efforts.


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