Beijing, 15 February 2023 (TDI): Chinese scientists utilized high-resolution satellite to aid in relief efforts following the Turkiye-Syria earthquake. On 6th February, an earthquake hit Turkiye and Syria resulting in significant loss of life and infrastructure.

In response to the disaster, a team of Chinese scientists led by Li Xi, a distinguished Professor at Wuhan University, utilized a high-resolution satellite to monitor light trends in the affected regions.

The data derived from this service was then provided to the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) to aid in the evaluation of disaster impacts and the allocation of relief resources to affected areas.

Findings of Chinese scientists

The remote sensing data provided by Li’s team showed that the infrastructure in affected areas was severely damaged. This will provide aid to UNOSAT in prompting relief efforts in affected Turkish areas.

The team utilized the Sustainable Development Science Satellite 1 (SDGSAT-1), an Earth Science Satellite by the Chinese Academy, and the United States (US) satellite Suomi-PP.

Also read: UN provides emergency relief to Turkiye, Syria following devastating Earthquake

Additionally, the commercial space telescope Yangwang-1, developed by Origin Space Technology, and the micro-nano satellite QMX-1, developed by Wuhan University, were also utilized.

The satellites monitored changes in the affected areas before and after the earthquake. It also mapped light trends over an extended period.

According to Professor Li, “The data of changes in light trends may help policymakers analyze the disaster situations in different areas and allocate relief resources better.”

Li’s team has also launched innovative initiatives in collaboration with UNOSAT. It includes the  “Night Time Light Remote Sensing for Sustainable Development Goals.”

It utilizes light at night to determine the progress of sustainable development goals. The team has conducted research in Yemen, Syria, and other countries to aid in the formulation of disaster relief strategies.

As weather conditions may disrupt assessment results, the data provided by Li’s team to UNOSAT is continually updated. This information is critical in helping policymakers formulate effective relief strategies and track constructive progress after disasters.