News / Asia

NASA Map Helps With Philippine Recovery

NASA Map Helps With Philippine Recoveryi
X
November 23, 2013 3:40 AM
Aid and reconstruction workers responding to the disaster in the Philippines now have one more tool to help them in their work. A map created by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows areas that suffered the most damage from Typhoon Haiyan. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from southern California, where scientists created the map. It's also home to the largest Philippine-American community.
NASA Map Helps With Philippine Recovery
Elizabeth Lee
Aid and reconstruction workers responding to the disaster in the Philippines now have one more tool to help them in their work. A map created by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows areas that suffered the most damage from Typhoon Haiyan. Scientists in Southern California created the map, which also is home to the largest Philippine-American community.

At the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Philippine Americans come to support each other and pray for their loved ones who were hit by the storm. Many Philippine Americans feel helpless and that includes Fe Alvarez Mangila.

“If only I could go directly there to extend our help at once, but it’s quite impossible,” said Mangila.

She wasn't able to go help her sisters recover from the devastation. “Their house was 90 percent destroyed.”

Mangila and many Filipinos can only offer spiritual and financial help, but Susan Owen and her co-workers are using science to help out.

“It was disturbing to see how much of the city was painted in red when we saw this map,” said Owen.

Owen points to a map generated by scientists at NASA’S Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In red, the map shows storm damage in a region near Tacloban where the typhoon made landfall. The map uses data generated by the Italian space agency’s radar satellite to form a composite of images before and after the typhoon.

“So we’re using energy reflected back from the Earth to determine the type of damage that has occurred in this region. You can imagine that buildings that are standing are going to reflect energy back differently than after they’ve been destroyed,” said Owen.

Alanna Simpson, of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, said her group has a team in the Philippines and is using the map to help with reconstruction. “For us right now we need to know which areas have been most affected."

The map not only helps international relief agencies and people in the Philippines identify damage in remote areas.

“We know from people who have contacted us that they are looking for areas where they can land aircraft. And so, using this map, they can identify areas that aren’t as damaged,” said Owen.

Owen said her team will continue to collect satellite data as needed to see how reconstruction is progressing.  

Whether it’s through science, money or prayers, many Philippine Americans say they are thankful for those who are trying to help victims of the storm.

You May Like

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Video Kenyans Lament Al-Shabab's Recruitment of Youths

VOA travels to Isiolo, where residents share their fears, struggles to get loved ones back from Somalia-based militant group More

This US Epidemic Keeps Getting Worse

One in 4 Americans suffers from this condition More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensionsi
X
May 26, 2015 11:11 PM
When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs