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Google Street View to boost building safety after disasters…and more

Google Street View to boost building safety after disasters

Researchers compared before and after photos of buildings that were damaged in the 2011 Japanese tsunami

Researchers compared before and after photos of buildings that were damaged in the 2011 Japanese tsunami

Google Street View could help civil engineers assess building damage after natural disasters in order to improve resistance to future events according to the University of Southampton. A research team from the University studied images taken before and after the 2011 Japan earthquake to assess the impacts on buildings from the Tōhoku tsunami, which hit the east coast of the country causing widespread damage. Cars equipped with 360 degree cameras used to take Google Street View images were sent around major cities and coastal areas, photographing streets over a six-month period starting four months after the tsunami. The images were collected with those taken before the tsunami to produce a digital archive that provided engineers with accessible…

 

Cyclone Chapala: the forecast rainfall would represent an extremely unusual event for the area, WMO said [NASA/Reuters]

Cyclone Chapala: the forecast rainfall would represent an extremely unusual event for the area, WMO said [NASA/Reuters]

Disaster risk reduction ‘core development priority’ of Asia and the Pacific – UN regional body

Building resilience in the face of natural disasters is “not a choice, but rather a collective imperative,” the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) declared on Friday, as it called on all government agencies to take on disaster risk reduction as a priority and make it an integral part of sustainable development in the region…

 

Bureaucracy blocks earthquake aid in Pakistan

International relief agencies are unable to reach some areas in Pakistan that were devastated by this week’s earthquake, because government authorities have not granted them permission to carry out aid activities. The magnitude 7.5 quake struck neighbouring Afghanistan on 26 October and at least 382 people are reported to have died in both countries, with around 2,700 injured. Those numbers could rise as emergency teams are still trying to reach remote areas of Afghanistan where the extent of the damage is not yet known. The disaster came three weeks after Pakistan imposed new restrictions on international NGOs (INGOs), requiring them to apply for a “No Objection Certificate” to expand their operations into different…

 

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