Night-light Imagery of SDGSAT-1 Contributes to UNOSAT Light Loss Assessment on Turkish Cities Following Devastating Earthquakes

Mar 07, 2023

A light loss assessment report was released by the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) to measure the scale of devastation of the cities in Türkiye hit by major earthquakes on 6 February 2022. The night-time light imagery collected by SDGSAT-1 and other satellites were adopted for the assessment.  

The earth science satellite SDGSAT-1 is developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and operated by the International Research Center of Big Data for Sustainable Development Goals (CBAS).  

Light loss observed in different cities can indicate distribution and severity of the disaster. 

Using pre-/after- light-time imagery captured by SDGSAT-1 and other satellites on the earthquake-hit areas, researchers from the Wuhan University and UNOSAT made a comparison analysis of lights in affected areas at night, providing data to aid relief work.

The analysis results show that the power outage areas are mainly distributed along the plate junction of Kahramanmaras, a city in the Mediterranean region of Turkey, and Antakya, the capital of Hatay Province in the southernmost of Turkey. Night-time light declined by more than 90 percent in many sectors of Hatay city. 

In Adiyaman, east sectors of the Hatay lost more light than the west sectors. Downtown Antakya (areas with higher light density) lost significant light after the earthquake compared to the suburbs. 

The UNOSAT report has been offered to World Food Programme (WFP) and other organizations for disaster-relief monitoring and policy-making. The report can be downloaded here

In addition, the UNOSAT report were shared through SDGSAT-1 Open Science Program.  

As one of seven practical measures to implement the UN 2030 Agenda, CBAS initiated its SDGSAT-1 Open Science Program as an access to share data with the international community. Up to now, 105 applications from 56 countries and regions have been granted to use its data for scientific research.