PRISMA, satellite developed by OHB Italia for the Italian Space Agency, is still operating from space supplying precious information on the devastating Earthquake of February 6 in south-eastern Turkey and Syria. According to seismologists, this natural event is one of the strongest ever recorded in the human history with more than 41,000 casualties.
The ravage of the area affected, where thousands of buildings collapsed or were heavily damaged and with rescuers working to save people trapped under the rubble, included also the disruption of a 2,000-year-old castle built during the Roman Empire. The castle of Gaziantep is located in the heart of the city closest to the epicenter of the earthquake. It was built by the Romans in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. and later fortified and extended by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I in the 6th century. The panel below shows an hyperspectral acquisition dated 13 February of the Roman castle. The image on the left is an RGB processing, while the one on the right is a panchromatic image, in which also the Sirvani Mosque (partially destroyed) is visible next to the castle.
PRISMA is assessing the dislocation of the ground using hyperspectral technology. By comparing pre- and post-event images, it is possible to understand what occurred and properly assess the damage. Images taken by spacecrafts are fundamental because they can help to understand the movement of the ground and assess the damage that has occurred.
ASI is continuously in contact with the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), which is processing day-by-day the images supplied by PRISMA . Space observation of the Earth represents a strategic asset for the development of services that let satellite’s data available to institutions and customers to get a better and safer daily life.