Minamiaso, Japan. Captured April 19, 2016. Image ©2016 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0.

Mapping Landslides in Japan

In mid-April 2016, a trio of strong earthquakes hit southern Japan, culminating in a Magnitude 7.0 quake on April 15.

The shaking triggered many landslides in the hilly town of Minamiaso. These before-and-after images captured by our RapidEye satellites reveal the slides’ light-colored scars:

Minamiaso, Japan. Captured March 16, 2016. Image ©2016 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0.
Minamiaso, Japan. Captured April 19, 2016. Image ©2016 Planet Labs, Inc. cc-by-sa 4.0.

The true extent of the landslides becomes apparent when we layer these images on top of each other. See the extensive effects of the quake:

Here’s what that massive landslide in the middle of the image looks like down on the the ground:

If you’re interested in contributing to relief efforts, you can download and analyze imagery and reports from the International Charter for Space and Natural Disasters.