Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

How satellite images could help get food and water to typhoon victims

by Alex Cohen | Take Two

72100 full
When Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded on Earth, struck the Philippines Nov. 8, 2013, it tore a wide swath of destruction across large parts of the island nation. ASI/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Providing aid to those affected in the Philippines has been an incredibly difficult task since many of the roads and airports were wiped away by Typhoon Haiyan.

But a new map developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory can pinpoint exactly what structures were damaged and where.

NASA compares satellite imagery before and after a disaster.

That info is so detailed that it can capture nuances like the texture of surfaces from space -- like a building's roof. If that "texture" changed after an event, that could indicate what's destroyed and what areas are still intact.

Frank Webb from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory explains more.

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