Field survey following the 12.5.08 Wenchuan Earthquake in Sichuan Province, China (Urgent Application)

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Architecture


A field survey of the areas affected by the 12.05.08 earthquake is proposed with the aim of assembling quantitative damage data and developing the use of remote sensing for the monitoring of earthquake damage and recovery. The survey will be carried out in conjunction with researchers from Chongqing University, and a further aim is to establish a longer-term research collaboration with Chongqing and other Chinese Universities in the field of earthquake risk mitigation.


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Description The M7.9Wenchuan earthquake on May 12th, 2008 was the most destructive in

China since 1976. The event caused huge damage and loss of life and exposed weaknesses

both in the formulation and implementation of the regulations governing building in the

affected provinces. Following the earthquake a massive relief and recovery operation was

mounted by the Chinese government. The authors took part in field studies in the affected

area which took place 5 and 11 months after the event, at which time recovery operations were

well-advanced. The aims of the study were to assess the effects caused by the earthquake

to the built environment and society, to collect information on the ongoing recovery efforts

and future plans, and to demonstrate the use of tools that allow the collection of spatially

referenced damage and recovery data. Based on available satellite imagery supplemented

by ground observation, geodatabases were constructed containing information on damage

and recovery in several parts of the affected area. The paper gives an overview of the recovery

process, describes the methods used to construct these geodatabases, and offers some

analysis of the data obtained. It is argued that such databases have great potential for the

management of post-disaster recovery and for creating a permanent record of the recovery

Exploitation Route Aid agencies and international donors may find this research and its applications useful This research is important in post-disaster recovery monitoring and evaluation, and has since been put to use in Haiti following the Earthquake there.
Sectors Construction,,Other

Description Chongqing University (CQU) 
Organisation Chongqing University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
Start Year 2008