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Pacific Disaster Center deploys Tsunami Response Map Viewer

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KIHEI (Jan. 28) - The Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) on Maui has deployed the Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean Tsunami Response Map Viewer to support response and recovery efforts following the devastating tsunami of Dec. 26.

The Map Viewer is a web-based display and navigation tool offering another means of accessing geographic information available through the Indian Ocean Tsunami Geospatial Information Service, launched by the Pacific Disaster Center nearly a month ago. The East-West Center has been the managing partner of the PDC since 2001.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the PDC received word from the region recounting the urgent need for maps of coastal areas inundated by the tsunami. "In response to those requests, we looked for the quickest and easiest way to get updated maps into the hands of emergency managers and the general public," said PDC chief operating officer, Ray Shirkhodai.

PDC officials cite the importance of providing the broadest possible audience with geospatial information about the tragedy. "Whereas the service we launched earlier specifically supports the Geographic Information Systems needs of emergency managers, the Map Viewer allows planners, decision makers as well as the general public to view vital information," said senior manager, Chris Chiesa.

Accessible at www.pdc.org/tsunami, the Map Viewer features a number of data layers including Landsat imagery, SRTM-derived elevation, coastlines and major cities. It also includes event-related information such as damage maps and downloadable high-resolution satellite imagery. The Map Viewer is continuously updated as more information becomes available.

The Pacific Disaster Center provides applied information research and analysis support for the development of more effective policies, institutions, programs and information products for the disaster management and humanitarian assistance communities of the Asia Pacific region and beyond.

For more information, contact Chris Chiesa at (808) 891-0525 (ex. 953) or cchiesa@pdc.org.