ICIMOD maps earthquake-affected settlements to aid relief and recovery efforts


Responding to a request from the Ministry of Home Affairs, ICIMOD has deployed a task force made up of GIS and remote sensing experts to map clusters of settlements in earthquake-affected areas. These maps are being used to aid in the deployment of relief materials to affected areas in need of urgent relief. 

The team, based out of the ICIMOD headquarters, is using remote sensing imagery on Google Earth to identify and mapping clusters of settlements in earthquake-affected areas. The maps produced are being shared with the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) within the Ministry of Home Affairs as they are completed. 

The settlement maps are available for download as .kml files, which can be opened in Google Earth.

The polygons on the maps indicate clusters of buildings across different districts; however, they do not indicate the type of building or the density of settlements. Proper field verification of the settlements still needs to be carried out, but these maps can be used a preliminary indication of the location of settlements in remote, earthquake-affected areas. 

The team of experts has identified settlement clusters for eight of the thirteen earthquake-affected districts as requested by the government – Dhading, Dolakha, Kavrepalanchowk, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Sindupalchowk, and Lamjung.