17 March 2011
VIENNA/BONN, 17 March (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) through its UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) has set up a SpaceAid resource page in support of relief efforts for the devastating Japan earthquake disaster at www.un-spider.org/japan-pacific. The massive earthquake of magnitude 9 struck the north-eastern coast of Japan on 11 March 2011 and the resulting tsunami had devastating effects along the Japanese coast and triggered warnings in numerous countries across the Pacific basin. Satellite images and maps are vital in supporting the response and relief work. UNOOSA through its UN-SPIDER Programme is coordinating with its established networks and other agencies to collect relevant pre- and post-disaster space-based information on the devastating event.
UNOOSA Director Mazlan Othman expressed her heartfelt condolences to the people of Japan, saying: "We offer our deepest sympathy to all those affected by this tragic event. The devastation caused by the earthquake in Japan is massive. We hope that SpaceAid resource page can contribute to the efforts to disseminate space-based information, informing of the worst hit areas in order to help assess damages and facilitate recovery planning. "
Through the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices, the nominated National Focal Points in the Pacific region and the leading providers of space-based information and social media resources, UN-SPIDER has put together available space-based information that could represent a significant source for the disaster relief efforts in Japan. Major relief and response websites have identified the UN-SPIDER resource page as an important information and data source, and the Programme continues to work with data providers and value-adders to ensure the information flow. UN-SPIDER has also been cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) by means of exchanging data and sharing information. In particular, the Programme has been supporting monitoring activities related to the potential threat of a nuclear fall-out in Japan and its possible effects for neighbouring countries in the Pacific region.
SpaceAid updates for the Japan disaster are available at UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER SpaceAid resource page at www.un-spider.org/japan-pacific.
* *** *
For further information contact:
Programme Coordinator, UN-SPIDER
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-5631
Email: david.stevens [at] unoosa.org
Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962
Email: romana.kofler [at] unoosa.org