Earthquake

Nepal - Technical Advisory Mission

At the request of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) and with the technical support of the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Nepal to evaluate the current and potential use of space based information in all aspects of disaster management and offering recommendations to strengthen disaster risk management and emergency response in the country.

Main Hazards: 

Dates: 

Mon, 31/07/2017 to Fri, 04/08/2017

Host Institution: 

Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA)

Mission Team: 

The team of 11 experts, under the leadership of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)/UN-SPIDER), visited NEPAL from 31 July to 4 August 2017. The mission team represented the following organizations: UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER, ICIMOD, Chinese Academy of Sciences, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Technology of Delta State University, United Nations Affiliated Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific hosted by Indian Space Research Organisation and DigitalGlobe, Singapore.

Mission Profile: 

During the five-day mission, the mission team visited key stakeholder agencies to carry out in-depth discussions on the current and potential use of space based information in all aspects of disaster management and offering recommendations to strengthen the disaster risk management and emergency response in the country. A one-day workshop was conducted as a part of this mission, which was attended by more than 65 participants. On the fifth day, the mission team compiled and presented their observations and recommendations to high-level officials of the MoHA, United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office (UN-RCO) and other key stakeholders.

Mission Findings: 

Policy

  • Many agencies visited have incorporated GIS and remote sensing in their activities. However it seems rather ad hoc and not guided by an overall policy for using space based technology for DRR and DM.
  • Data provision from different agencies is fragmented and lacks clear policy and responsibilities for data generation, maintenance and update.
  • Critical is the missing NSDI and related activities. Access to data due to inadequate policy framing has been highlighted several times as a crucial issue to advance DRR related activities.
  • National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management NSDRM 2009 Priority Action 2 (Identify, assess and monitor disaster risks and strengthen early warning System) relates to “Establish and institutionalize authentic, and open GIS-based Disaster Information Management System (DIMS) at all levels).
  • Natural Calamity (Relief) Act, 1982 is under revision which provides opportunities to integrate the use of space based information in line with the Sendai Framework.

Data availability and sharing

  • ICIMOD is well placed to access earth observation data through SERVIR, Sentinel Asia and other programmes. Some agencies have UAVs.
  • There is no national agency responsible for driving remote sensing based progammes.
  • Baseline GIS data is available, although it is not clear how data is shared, used and its quality. This restricts interoperability among the GIS layers developed by various organizations.
  • This data gap is filled with open street map data and other separate initiatives.
  • A lot of valuable geospatial data is available and more are being collected, however, there is a lack of data standards, metadata and data accessibility mainly due to lack of policy guidelines, appropriate software and hardware issues.
  • Departments are unable or not forthcoming to share data. Data is not posted publicly and is usually shared on an ad-hoc and informal basis due to lack of policy guidelines.
  • There are no targeted missions to generate hazard, and risk maps. Such gap is filled by many non government actors. Use of EO based input is minimal.

Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening

  • CSSTEAP has over 100 alumni in Nepal trained in RS/GIS, SatCom, SatMetetc. Several others are trained in the other institutions.
  • Trained staff cannot make use of their capacities due to limitations in policy framing (except Nepalese Army and APF).
  • Capacity building should be guided by a strategy that addresses long-term capacity building needs;
  • Additionally danger exists that staff cannot upgrade and refresh their capacities as they are losing the connection to state-of-the-art knowledge.
  • Government institutions involved in geospatial technologies have not adequately planned for the required software, hardware, and skills maintenance needed to keep systems running.
  • Again the situation is better outside the governmental intuitions -especially with very high level capacities at ICIMOD, as well as different NGOs.

Mission Recommendations: 

Policy

  • Integrate space based and geospatial information while the following policy documents are revised: DM Act, National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management (NSDRM), 2009 and National Disaster Response Framework (NDRF), 2013
  • Create a national data policy that includes data standards (including geospatial data), which points to a clear need for National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI);
  • Develop guidelines for a disaster inventory database and clearly spell out, who will provide services, who will use them, and for what purpose.
  • To ensure the efficient use of resources in support of DRR, there should be a department or entity that is entirely dedicated to coordination. ;
  • In the meantime, there can still be coordination between agencies producing and using data for disaster management and emergency response. MoHA can convene an information management or GIS working group. This group will coordinate data management activities, share data, develop standards, and work toward there being no duplication of efforts.
  • Army, APF, NGOs (KLL, Nepal GIS Society), Survey Department and ICIMOD are important players.

Data availability and sharing

  • “One Nation-One Map” policy to promote the preparation of base line thematic layers including hazard and risk maps at highest possible resolution and scale by respective agencies in a time bound manner.
  • Policy document and related actions to convince key ministries to invest in earth observation and geospatial information, which leads to faster economic growth.
  • Data access should be explicitly addressed in high level policy or strategy. Then technology can easily be put in place to facilitate data access.
  • Organisations like DWIDM, DHM, DMG needs clear mandate and strategic guidance from MoHA to undertake hazard/risk mapping.
  • A portal for discovering national data assets is needed, regardless of whether or not data may be shared freely, for cost, or not at all. This will reduce duplication of effort.
  • Overarching plan to generate spatial data is needed (land use, soil, hydro-geomorphology, water resources, socio-economic etc.)

Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening

  • Capacity building should be guided by a strategy that addresses long-term capacity building needs;
  • Use of in-house institutions to offer regular capacity building programmes focused on space technology applications in specific themes and upcoming innovations;
  • Develop technological capacity or set up a dedicated centre that would provide technical support to NEOC; and
  • Ensure trained staffs remain in their positions within the government department allowing them to focus on specific technical skills to leverage remote sensing and GIS in support of DRR and DM.
  • Capacity existing in other institutions such as ICIMOD can be used as a valuable resource to maintain capacity within the government.
  • Explore opportunities for Public-Private Partnership

Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction

  • Critical role by NEOC in facilitating hazard, and risk maps using Earth observation;
  • National mission guiding the use of geospatial technology in disaster management include inventory, monitoring, spatial analysis and modeling and developing GIS-based tools for hazard, vulnerability and risk analysis.
  • Establishment of a technical centre within NEOC which can be partly manned by staff from stakeholder ministries. This centre should be able to coordinate and use information generated by all stakeholder agencies during all stages of disaster management; and
  • For disaster risk reduction, preparation of hazard zonation maps, early warning and mainstreaming guide lines are considered as key areas to focus.
  • DRR should be a key component of sustainable development (SDG) and integrate climate change adaptation.

Strengthening early warning and preparedness

  • The existing early warning system (EWS) should be strengthened by building expertise on advanced applications of Earth observation (reference ICIMOD efforts);
  • There is an urgent need to build capacities for multi-hazard use of EWS, where information (thematic maps, risk maps etc.) generated from satellite images can be integrated with early warning information; and
  • Strengthen capacities in providing more accurate and localized early warning information that can be used for local disaster preparedness and response at the community level.

Strengthening emergency response

  • Develop routine mechanism to use Earth observation to provide situational awareness to support NEOC and ensure coordinated and effective response during emergencies;
  • NEOC should become an Authorised User of the International Charter for Space and utilized Sentinel Asia facility at ICIMOD;
  • Prepare SOPs for acquisition and utilisation of space based information during emergency response (Reference: WG in UN-SPIDER Conference 2015)
  • The training and mock drills on routine basis to enable stakeholders to make good use of international support
  • Information sharing channels during emergencies should be clarified in the legal and strategic documents developed by MoHA
  • Cross train geospatial professionals with DM –the two are largely treated as independent functions.
  • Basic map reading and land navigation skills must be taught across all entities involved with DM, particular within the response community
  • Prepare and implement a geospatial strategy and NSDI under leadership of MoHA, in close collaboration with main players;
  • Develop an institutional capacity development strategy;
  • Prepare and implement a plan to address Priority 1 of Sendai framework by developing methods identify risks, hazards and vulnerabilities using geoinformation; and
  • Prepare and implement a plan to address Priority 4 of Sendai framework for Disaster Reduction: 2015-2030 by developing SOP to use earth observation for enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response.

Actions identified during debriefing at Ministry of Home Affairs on the 5th day of the TAM

  1. Re-start planning to develop an NSDI. Under the leadership of the Survey Dept, but with the active participation of all concerned agencies and partners. (governmental and Non-governmental agencies)
    1. Strengthen DRR portal to host relevant data related to DRR
  2. TAM to suggest innovative approaches in capacity building for mainstreaming Space tech in DRR and DR
  3. Enhance existing partnerships to maximize the use of space tech at EOC.
  4. Suggest mechanisms for using space technology to identify and address vulnerability. (focus on more accessible technology –not high-tech)
  5. TAM to recommend ways to strengthen DRR, perhaps through strengthened partnership with academic partnerships.
  6. TAM to share our observations on capacity of the different agencies of the GoN.
  7. UN to explore ways to support the GoNin efforts to improve the use of space technology for DRR.
  8. Support awareness raising activities at the very senior government level on the benefits of GIS and remote sensing in DRR (and beyond). TAM can share lessons learned
  9. TAM to suggest ways to better manage and use information in support of emergency response operations. (i.e review DRR Portal)
  10. Establish an executive and technical committee under the leadership of NEOC. (or the to-be-established NDMC)
    1. Executive committee to look at policy and mandate issues
    2. Technical committee to coordinate data collection activities, identify data sources, and establish data standards and guidance.

Recommended Practice: Exposure Mapping

English

Teaser Recommended Practice: 

Mapping the extent of a natural hazard (e.g., assessing areas with a high risk) or disaster is a first step in disaster risk management and emergency response. Subsequently, exposure mapping enables the estimation of the impact of hazards or disasters, for example, regarding the number of affected inhabitants or infrastructure. The following practice shows the use of Quantum GIS to analyze a disaster extent map in combination with auxiliary data such as population or land cover data.

Flowchart Recommended Practices: 

Related Software: 

Objective: 

The objective of this practice is to estimate the exposure of a natural hazard or disaster. As an example, the number of inhabitants affected by a flood event is estimated. The joint use of the flood mask, created by the Recommended Practice: Flood Mapping, and the WorldPop data set constitutes a viable solution to quickly estimate the impact of the flood regarding the population. The proposed methodology is a universal practice which combines a simple approach based on open-source software and free of charge data together with a beforehand created map covering the extend of a natural hazard or disaster.

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

  • Mitigation
  • Preparedness
  • Recovery & Reconstruction
  • Relief & Response

Main Hazards: 

  • Drought
  • Earthquake
  • Extreme Temperature
  • Forest Fire
  • Flood
  • Insect Infestation
  • Mass Movement
  • Pollution
  • Severe Storm
  • Tsunami
  • Volcanic Eruption

Test Site: 

Malawi

Context: 

The practice was applied in the context of the flood event in Malawi in January 2015. Since December 2014, heavy rains affected Malawi causing rivers to overflow. The flooded area in this analysis covered a part of the Nsanje district around Chiromo.

Applicability: 

This practice can be applied globally. Besides of the beforehand created hazard or disaster extent map, the practice does not need specific near real-time data as it is based on population, land cover, or other auxiliary geodata archives. The WorldPop data set provides population data for Africa, Asia as well as Central and South America with a spatial resolution of 100 meters. The Landcover30 data base provides global landcover data with a spatial resolution of about 30 meters.

Mongolia - Technical Advisory Mission

At the request of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Government of Mongolia, UN-SPIDER supported NEMA and stakeholders organisations in strengthening disaster risk management and emergency response by effective use of space based information including data sharing, National Spatial Data Infrastructure, policy level interventions and capacity.

Main Hazards: 

Dates: 

Mon, 11/08/2014 to Fri, 15/08/2014

Host Institution: 

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

Mission Team: 

The team of seven experts, under leadership of the UN-SPIDER, visited Mongolia from 11-15 August 2014. The mission team represented following organisations: UN-SPIDER/UNOOSA, National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC), University of Georgia, Airbus Defence and Space, Asia Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO). Some of these organisations are already engaged with organisations in Mongolia in the area of disaster management and space technology.

Mission Profile: 

During this five-day mission, the mission team visited seven Ministries and Government agencies and three United Nations offices to carry out in-depth discussions. On 15 August, the Workshop “Use of Space Technology in Disaster Risk Management” was organized. About 40 officials representing various ministries/departments, institutions, and academia attended the workshop. The workshop generated awareness among a larger group of stakeholders in Mongolia, and sought their inputs on current challenges in using in disaster management.

Mission Findings: 

  • Mongolia has invested heavily in Earthquake Early Warning Systems and needs to strengthen its’ efforts towards disaster risk reduction as well as to be equipped with adequate capacity, skills and infrastructures;
  • Local government agencies are heavily involved in emergency response activities;
  • The laws, policies and plans related to disaster management are well thought out and entrusts the apex agency for emergency response and disaster risk reduction;
  • Government is focusing on disaster risk reduction to reduce losses due to disasters;
  • Many organizations are implementing several projects with national and international partners using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies;
  • There are a few good examples of agencies using RS/GIS but they are based mainly on coarse resolution satellite images.

Mission Recommendations: 

Policy and Coordination

  • Geo-spatial data policy should be formulation and implementation, as well as the NSDI initiative at the provisions in existing law and policy;
  • Space-technology usage for disaster protection activities should be considered in the State Policy on Disaster Protection;
  • Geospatial agencies should focus on using spatial data and remote sensing for disaster risk reduction and response;
  • An effective data sharing policy should be formulized before the satellite launched

Data access, availability and sharing

  • Data requirements and coordination should be clearly addressed in the procedure of emergency response;
  • Promote the data sharing platform and mechanism at national level and local level;
  • Take advantage of International/regional mechanism for data access among key agencies in Mongolia

Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening

  • Building capacity to use remote sensing data and data products among stakeholder organizations in Mongolia;
  • Data providing agencies may require an upgrading of their skills and staff needs additional training on server based technologies;
  • Sentinel Asia facilities needs a team of remote sensing/GIS Experts;
  • Assessing the availability and accessibility of international is recommended.

Strengthening DRR Decision making

  • DRR decision making calls for balanced effort to address issues with respect to stages of disaster management and related activities should be further linked to climate change issues involving space based information ;
  • Long term analysis should be conducted on a regular basis;
  • More detailed hazard assessments maps are needed for operational purposes;
  • Mechanisms should be established for allowing for rapid data sharing with minimal administrative action;

Strengthening early warning and preparedness

  • Risk prone areas should be identified for better preparedness and remote sensing should be incorporated into early warning and preparedness activities;
  • Existing ground based infrastructure for early warning should be complemented with extended remote sensing programmes;
  • GIS based information systems need to link to remote sensing data portals at provincial offices;
  • Satellite based drought early warning information should be seen as a priority.

Strengthening emergency response

  • Increased capacity is needed for managing other international mechanisms;
  • Key stakeholder agencies should discuss ways to get the right information products suitable for large scale disaster response;
  • Spatial information products should be accurately expressed that expected to receive from other institutions and enhance GIS facilities with high resolution images and large scale;
  • Technical agencies should consider seconding their staff to coordination organization during an emergency.

Multi-hazard profile of Sri Lanka (UNISDR)

Data Type: 

hazard

Costs: 

free
Undefined

Spatial Coverage: 

Sri Lanka

Temporal Coverage: 

arch

Data accessibility: 

exportmap
statistic

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

drm

Space-based Information: 

Ground-based Information

Sri Lanka National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI)

Data Type: 

satdata

Costs: 

rfree
Undefined

Spatial Coverage: 

Sri Lanka

Temporal Coverage: 

arch

Data accessibility: 

exportdata

File types: 

GeoTIFF
TIFF

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

drm

Spatial Resolution: 

2.50

Requirements: 

<p>Satellite data can be viewed by users on request with the approval of the Surveyor General at CRS Branch.</p>

OrbView-3 (USGS)

Data Type: 

satdata

Costs: 

nfree
Undefined

Spatial Coverage: 

Global

Temporal Coverage: 

arch

Data accessibility: 

exportdata

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

File types: 

GeoTIFF
NITF
TIFF

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

drm

Spatial Resolution: 

1.00

Restrictions / Citation of the dataset: 

Satellites and Sensors: 

Hazards Data Distribution System Explorer (HDDS) (USGS)

Data Type: 

hazard
satdata

Costs: 

rfree
English

Spatial Coverage: 

Global

Temporal Coverage: 

arch
near

Data accessibility: 

exportdata
exportmap

File types: 

CSV
GeoTIFF
KML
shp
TIFF
XML

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

rr

Spatial Resolution: 

0.50

Requirements: 

<p>Find system and browser requierements in the <a href="http://hddsexplorer.usgs.gov/documents/hddshelp.pdf" target="_blank">help document</a></p>

Restrictions / Citation of the dataset: 

SPOT imagery (CNES)

Data Type: 

satdata

Costs: 

rfree
English

Spatial Coverage: 

Global

Temporal Coverage: 

arch

Data accessibility: 

exportdata

File types: 

TIFF
XML

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

drm
rr

Spatial Resolution: 

1.00

Requirements: 

<p>ESA gives the opportunity to get a limited amount of restrained products for free upon the submission of a project proposal.</p>

SENTINEL-1 imagery (ESA)

Data Type: 

satdata

Costs: 

free
English

Spatial Coverage: 

Global

Temporal Coverage: 

arch

Data accessibility: 

exportdata

File types: 

TIFF
XML

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

drm
rr

Spatial Resolution: 

5m - 40m

Restrictions / Citation of the dataset: 

Satellites and Sensors: 

Terra- SAR-X imagery (Airbus Defence & Space)

Data Type: 

satdata

Costs: 

rfree
English

Spatial Coverage: 

Global

Temporal Coverage: 

arch

Data accessibility: 

exportdata

File types: 

bin
cosar
TIFF
XML

Disaster Cycle Phase: 

drm
rr

Spatial Resolution: 

1.00

Requirements: 

<p>DLR gives only to Principal Investigators the opportunity to get a limited amount of free products upon the submission of a TSX Proposal.</p>

Satellites and Sensors: 

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