Application and prospect of a high-resolution remote sensing and geo-information system in estimating earthquake casualties
An accurate estimation of a casualty rate is critical in response to earthquake disasters, and could allow an increase in the survival rate. Building damage is considered to be a major cause of earthquake casualties in developing countries. High-resolution satellite imagery (HRSI) can be used to detect the building damage in a period of a short time. This makes it possible to use a model to estimate earthquake casualties immediately after the occurrence of an earthquake. With respect to the capability of HRSI, this study built a new model for estimating the casualty rate in an earthquake disaster based on remote sensing and a geographical information system. Three groups of earthquake data, the 2003 Bam earthquake, the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, and the 2010 Yushu earthquake, were used to evaluate this model. The results indicated that our new model significantly improved the accuracy in predicting the casualty rate. The parameters used in the model vary between developed and developing countries. This study could provide valuable information for a more efficient rescue operation in response to earthquakes.