February 2011 Imaging of Areas Damaged by the Earthquake in New Zealand (Christchurch)

An earthquake struck New Zealand on February 22, 2011, 12:51 p.m. (Japan time: 8:51 a.m. of the same day). The epicenter was estimated to be near the second largest city in New Zealand, Christchurch, and the magnitude of the earthquake was 6.3. This earthquake is said to be an aftershock of the M7.1 earthquake that struck approximately 40 km west of Christchurch on September 4 last year. In addition to the fact that Christchurch was built on the soft ground of the coast, the epicenter of the quake was shallow at approximately 5 km. Consequently, Christchurch suffered massive damage, and the number of fatalities and missing persons as of February 25 has been reported to exceed 300.

Satellite Image on February 24 (Synthetic Aperture Radar: SAR)

Imaging Specifications

Acquisition dates and times : 23 February 2011, 07:23 (UTC)
Angle of incidence : 47.38°(Ascending)
Imaging mode : High Resolution SpotLight 300MHz
Polarized wave : HH

This is a satellite image of the central part of Christchurch.
The town has a road network that has developed in an orderly fashion, virtually in a north-south-east-west format. Looking at this road, we can see spots where the road appears to be cut off and sealed shut (such as near the Cathedral). Such places are presumed to have suffered from collapsed buildings and collapsed outer walls buildings as a result of the earthquake, which have sealed off the roads.


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History of Information Released

First release date:February 25, 2011 (Friday)

From the perspective of understanding the damage situation caused by the disaster, and of providing information to the relevant organizations, PASCO carried out estimations for the areas of damage immediately utilizing SAR satellite images, which are not impacted by weather conditions.

We express our deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by the disaster.
We will strive even harder to be of service to all through the application of our spatial information processing and analysis technologies, as well as through our disaster prevention consulting expertise, in order to obtain accurate information on the disaster situation and assist in the recovery of the affected areas.

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