We are yet to discover the dimensions of the natural disaster that hit Japan 11th March 2011. Judging from the scientific numbers (earthquake 8.9, tsunami wave heights up to 10 m) and heartbreaking images from Japan, we can all the same safely say that the human and material losses will be enormous.
In crisis like this all means are activated in order to mitigate the destructions. Even though Japan is arguably one of, if not The best prepared society when it comes to handling natural disasters, situated right on “The Ring of Fire”, no single nation is able to manage disasters of such dimensions without support from the international community.
Through the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, some 20 Earth observation satellites can be activated to support mitigation of the effect of disasters like the earthquake in New Zealand and now as of yesterday the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan.
NASA has already established a website where images for non-professionals (like journalists in this context). The operational professionals managing the disaster get more detailed information they can integrate with other information that form the basis for critical decision-making.
See my video on : Earthquake Science in a study of Haiti in the Ring of Fire http://astrocast.tv/blog/?p=3743