Earthquake damage detection using before and after earthquake satellite images

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Visual and Built Environments

Publication Title

IEEE international conference on electro information technology


After experiencing many earthquakes all around the world, earthquake damage assessment has attracted a great deal of attention from both researchers and practitioners. Complexity and uncertainty in many practical problems require new methods and tools. Image processing is one of these tools that can be used as an efficient process for greater rewards. Implementation of image processing in earthquake damage detection after an earthquake allows rapid and accurate response. Using before and after event images makes damage inspection possible right after an earthquake occurs. In this paper, image processing and computer vision technologies were applied for earthquake damage detection. A city model was used for a representative damage detection process. In addition, satellite images before and after the March 11, 2011 Miyagi earthquake in Japan were used to detect earthquake damage. Visual damage inspection of structures was carried out considering urban areas comparing pre and post event images. Damage assessment using image differences gives a damage profile in the structural areas of residential buildings, highway bridges, and infrastructures. Such assessment can be used for immediate response by the rescue teams after an earthquake to locate the damaged urban surfaces.

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