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January 9, 2020
NASA’s Terra satellite captured this view of the region, showing a complex array of dust storms, enhanced thanks to the rich spectral information of MODIS.
In part supported by NASA’s Disasters Program, the system known as LANCE — short for Land, Atmosphere Near real-time Capability for EOS (Earth Observing System) — collates satellite data to deliver imagery of intense disturbances across the globe: usually less than three hours after initial observations. As it enters its second decade of operation, LANCE provides subscribers free and open access to more than 130 near real-time data products and imagery from 12 satellite instruments.

 

January 10, 2020
NASA Disasters Program Manager David Green giving a talk on the NASA Hyperwall at AGU 2019. Credit: Jacob Reed (NASA GSFC)
Members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program will be attending the American Meteorological Society 2020 Annual Meeting this year in Boston, MA to give talks and teach people about the program and the services it provides.

 

December 31, 2019
Category 5 Hurricane Irma as observed by the GOES-16 satellite on September 5th, 2017, and processed by SPoRT.
The NASA Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center (SPoRT) was established in 2002 to transition NASA satellite data and capabilities to improve short-term weather forecasting with an emphasis on National Weather Service (NWS) end users. With the goal of maximizing the benefit of NASA research and capabilities to benefit society, SPoRT has developed innovative solutions to bring research products to operations and tailor them to meet end user needs. Over the past decade SPoRT has been at the forefront of a range of activities, making notable contributions to NASA LIS and WRF Hydro, the GOES-R/JPSS Proving Grounds, and the GPM, SMAP, and SWOT Early Adopter Programs. With an initial focus on partners in the southeastern U.S., SPoRT has expanded partnerships to include end users in all NWS Regions, National Centers, and other government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, U.S.D.A., and state environmental agencies.

 

December 23, 2019
Emergency responders during the May 2017 flooding near Pocahontas, Arkansas. Credit: U.S. Army National Guard/Spc. Stephen M. Wright
Arkansas lives up to its nickname of The Natural State, with three national forests covering 2.9 million acres, seven national parks, scenic mountains and plains, and dozens of rivers bordering and crossing the state, including the mighty Mississippi. But with all those rivers, flooding is a recurring natural hazard. For those providing relief and other emergency services to flooded areas, timely NASA Earth observations help determine the scope of the disaster.

 

November 25, 2019
The 2011 floodwaters show up as dark blue spreading across the historic city of Ayutthata, Thailand, just north of Bangkok. The 2011 floods killed hundreds of people and displaced millions. Credits: Credit: LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA’s G
In the first NASA study to calculate the value of using satellite data in disaster scenarios, researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, calculated the time that could have been saved if ambulance drivers and other emergency responders had near-real-time information about flooded roads, using the 2011 Southeast Asian floods as a case study. Ready access to this information could have saved an average of nine minutes per emergency response and potential millions of dollars, they said. The study is a first step in developing a model to deploy in future disasters, according to the researchers. The Mekong River crosses more than 2,000 miles in Southeast Asia, passing through parts of Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, China and other countries. The river is a vital source of food and income for the roughly 60 million people who live near it, but it is also one of the most flood-prone regions in the world. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

 

November 19, 2019
Refugee camps built in the Bangladeshi hillside are vulnerable to sudden landslides. Credits: UN Development Programme/Eno Jonathan
Refugee camps built in the Bangladeshi hillside are vulnerable to sudden landslides. Credits: UN Development Programme/Eno Jonathan Camp managers and other local officials overseeing Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh are now incorporating NASA satellite observations into their decision making in order to reduce the risk to refugees from landslides and other natural hazards. Information like daily rain totals can help inform how  to lay out refugee camps and store supplies. More than 740,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017. Many of them have sought shelter in camps located in the hilly countryside, where landslide risk may be the greatest. Increasing this danger is Bangladesh’s intense monsoon season. Approximately 80 percent of Bangladesh's yearly rain falls in just five months, from June to October, bringing with it an increased risk of flash flooding and landslides. When these refugee camps were built in the southeastern part of the country, plants and trees were removed and their roots no longer helped to hold the soil in place. The soaked hillsides are at even greater risk of cleaving off with heavy rains. In July 2019, after 14 inches of rain fell in 72 hours, 26 landslides in Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, killed one person and left more than 4,500 without shelter. “We have little information on landslides," said Hafizol Islam, who is in charge of one of the most densely populated camps of the Kutupalong mega-camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. "It is unpredictable for us and can happen at any time.”

 

November 1, 2019
Landslide researcher and Disasters Program Center Coordinator Dalia Kirschbaum gives a presentation on the NASA Hyperwall at AGU 2016.
Members of the NASA Earth Applied Sciences Disasters Program will be attending the American Geophysical Union 2019 Fall Meeting this year in San Francisco, CA to give talks, present posters, and teach people about the program and the services it provides.

 

November 1, 2019
Landslide-susceptible settlements in the Kutupalong refugee camp in South Bangladesh. Credit NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
This is the first in a series of articles profiling NASA’s role in contributing to the Sendai Framework, a United Nations initiative to help communities worldwide manage, mitigate and plan responses to a wide array of disasters. The Sendai Framework was adopted by U.N. member states on March 18, 2015 during a conference on disaster risk reduction in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.

 

October 23, 2019
The attendees of NASA’s 2019 Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop in Rio.
Groups are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to discuss the progress made in the landslide modeling work and kick off a new project focused on urban flood modeling. The “Applied Sciences for Disaster Risk Reduction Workshop” and other outreach and scientific engagement events will feature technical discussions with city management and scientists to connect the scientific modeling efforts to decision making needs around the city.

 

August 30, 2019
Satellite view of Hurricane Dorian on Thursday, Aug. 29. (Credit: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory)
As Hurricane Dorian slowly approaches Florida’s Atlantic coast, NASA personnel have engaged with federal, state and local emergency responders in preparation for landfall as soon as Labor Day. A team of NASA disaster coordinators from the Earth Science Division’s Disasters Program has been activated to work with emergency agencies to determine what NASA information assets derived from satellite data can be provided to help decision makers direct resources and help communities likely to be affected by the storm. NASA has already created a map of Florida showing current soil moisture conditions to help scientists and response agencies predict the impact of heavy rainfall from Hurricane Dorian on flooding and runoff across the state. The map uses data from the NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP satellite. This and other data products are made available from the program’s mapping portal.

 

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