Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Synspective have started a satellite use service demonstration to monitor ground movements in Guatemala City, Guatemala, as part of an information gathering and pilot project.
Guatemala is a Central American country, and is about ⅓ the size of Japan. Spanish is the official and most spoken language. Similar to Japan, Guatemala is prone to earthquakes and other disaster risks such as heavy rains due to hurricanes, landslides, and volcanic disasters. Japan, which is also a volcanic country, has been implementing a technical cooperation project for disaster prevention to support the country. (JICA, Overview of Guatemala)
In Guatemala, there is always the risk of subsidence and landslides caused by earthquakes. In the 1970s, the capital was hit by an earthquake that killed thousands of people and injured many others. In 2010, a giant sinkhole of about 60 feet wide and 30 stories deep, opened up in the middle of Guatemala City, which consumed a three-story building and an intersection. Additionally, in 2015, a large-scale landslide engulfed a village near the capital killing more than 100 people. There continue to be concerns about the potential danger to urban city life and infrastructure.
In order to understand land displacement risks, land surveying and reference point surveying have been considered, but they can only gather information at each point. Only a portion of surveying projects have been carried out using satellite data with wide-area coverage capabilities.
Satellite surveying technology, which requires advanced analytical technologies and specialization, has been limited. It was therefore necessary to develop a system in continuous use with the introduction of satellite survey monitoring to improve disaster prevention capabilities over a wide area.
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