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N° 35–1999: ERS and SPOT satellites provide images for Turkey disaster relief operations

25 August 1999

Images of the earthquake-struck regions of Turkey are being provided by European observation satellites: ESA's ERS satellites and SPOT satellites of the French national space agency CNES.

SPOT 4 yielded detailed pictures of the Izmit and Istanbul areas for 20 and 23 August, while ERS provided data on the disaster area for 23 August 1999. More information is expected in the coming days.

The data provided by the satellite systems is being analysed at ESA's research institute Esrin (located in Frascati, Italy) and at Spot Image, a French company. Information about the extent of the affected areas and about the effects of the catastrophe on the ground will give valuable information to public authorities and organisations working to repair the damage. The satellite system operators are making the latest data available directly to potential users.

Less than a month ago, on 22 July at the United Nations UNISPACE III conference in Vienna, ESA and CNES pledged to pool their satellite-based resources and provide timely, pertinent information on parts of the Earth struck by natural or man-made disasters. This initiative is open to all organisations involved in satellite observation.

For information about satellite data, please contact:

* ESA/ESRIN : EO Missions Help Desk - Tel: +39.06.941.180.777
* For additional information about ERS, go to
* Spot Image Customer Service: Tel: +33(0) ou 40.70
* For additional information about SPOT, go to

Information for the press:
ESA : Franco Bonacina - Tel: +33(0)
CNES : Sandra Laly - Tel: +33(0).