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Direct tangible damage assessment for regional snowmelt flood disasters with HJ-1 and HR satellite images: a case study of the Altay region, northern Xinjiang, China

Siquan Yang (), Haixia He (), Weitao Chen () and Lizhe Wang ()
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Siquan Yang: National Disaster Reduction Center of China
Haixia He: National Disaster Reduction Center of China
Weitao Chen: China University of Geosciences
Lizhe Wang: China University of Geosciences

Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, 2018, vol. 94, issue 3, 1099-1116

Abstract: Abstract Regional snowmelt flood disasters (RSFDs) can cause significant direct tangible damage which generally refers to the physical destruction due to direct contact with the flood water, such as damage to buildings, croplands, livestock, and infrastructure. Information about people, habitations, and infrastructure affected by the flood is essential for disaster responders and the humanitarian community to plan and coordinate emergency response activities. However, this direct tangible damage information obtained in the ground is limited, incomplete, contradictory, and sometimes impossible to obtain in a short time. Earth observation satellites help overcome operational uncertainties after the RSFDs. Here, we present an improved rapid direct tangible damage assessment model using HJ-1 and GF-1/2 satellite images. We selected the Altay region in northern Xinjiang, China, as the study area, and investigated a RSFD occurring in spring 2017. A series of HJ-1 and GF-1 images were used to track the flood extent over the duration of the disaster, and the maximum affected flood area was assigned as the area in which direct tangible damage occurred. Pre-disaster GF-2 images were then used to estimate direct tangible damage to habitations (2375 households and 6388 rooms), infrastructure (102 km of roads), and affected population (7125) in the flood area, which covered an area of 185,240 m2. Our method is an effective approach for the design of rescue plans and disaster subsidy programs.

Keywords: Snowmelt flood disaster; Tangible damage; HJ-1; GF-2; Remote sensing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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