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Satellite Image of Machu Picchu – Thousands of Tourists Stranded by Heavy Rains and Mudslides

Satellite image of Machu Picchu before the heavy rains and mudslides that plagued the area on January 26, 2010 stranding thousands of tourists and leaving 20 people dead. At least 250 homes and bridges and parts of several highways were severely affected as fast moving water and fallen rock covered the roads.


IKONOS Satellite Image of Machu Picchu, Peru

Copyright © 2010 GeoEye. All Rights Reserved.

Helicopters were being sent to the scene to evacuate some 2,000 people. Tourists were trapped at the World Heritage site in the eastern Peruvian jungle, while two others were killed in separate mudslides. Other deaths were reported over the weekend and another person died when a hillside collapsed due to a landslide.

Watch Video of Floods

Remote Sensing for Mudslides and Flooding Disasters

Remote sensing techniques greatly aid in the investigations of mudslides (also known as mudflows) and landslides, on both a local and regional scale. Remote sensing offers an additional tool from which we can extract information about mudflow and landslide causes and occurrences. Most importantly, they greatly aid in the prediction of future occurrences, which is very important to those who reside in areas surrounded by unstable slopes.

Mudflows and landslides in around the world pose threats to settlements and structures, often result in catastrophic damage to highways, railways, waterways, and pipelines.

To determine where protective measures are necessary, scientists and technicians produce landslide inventory and risk assessment maps for many areas around the world. Mudflows and landslides unfortunately, do not display a clear relationship between magnitude and frequency as do earthquakes and floods. Landslide studies are challenging to scientists, due to the difficulty to represent landslide hazards in quantitative terms over large areas.

Analysis and Prediction of Landslides in GIS (Geographic Information Systems)

Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu is one of the most popular destinations in Peru as it welcomes 400,000 visitors per year. Voted as one of the “Seven Wonders in the World”  in 2007, is one of the most famous Incan cities in the world. Sun alignments are found throughout Machu Picchu, many features, including the Sacred Plaza, The Temple of Three Windows and The Intihuatana platform, align with the summer solstice azimuth of 65-245 degrees. Scientists believe these alignments were primary considerations in the construction of the shrines. A shaft of light, shining through an east-facing window, reportedly illuminates The Torreon, or Temple of the Sun, during the summer solstice. The city was built between 1460 and 1470 AD at an altitude of 8,000 feet. Satellite Image: Copyright © 2008 GeoEye. All Rights Reserved.

About Satellite Imaging Corporation:

Satellite Imaging Corporation (SIC), a privately held technology company that provides high resolution satellite imagery from satellite sensors such as GeoEye-1, WorldView-2 Worldview-1, QuickBird, IKONOS, SPOT-5 and other remote sensing products for analysis and mapping applications such as Geographic Information System (GIS).

The company specializes in mono and stereo satellite imaging technology producing seamless orthorectified satellite imaging mosaics DEM’s and 3D terrain models for many industries using CAD and GIS applications including engineering and construction, homeland security, defense, intelligence and disaster response using high and medium resolution mono and stereo satellite image data.



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