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MCEER Earthquake Reconnaissance Investigation

Phuket Province

Areas in Phuket province surveyed included tourist resort areas in Bang Tao Bay, Kamala Beach, Patong Beach, Karon Beach, and Kata Beach. Phuket is primarily a tourist destination, with beaches lined with hotels and shopping. Damage observed in Bang Tao Bay and Kamala Beach was heavy, following reported wave heights of 5-6m. Shops along the beach front in Patong beach were observed to have sustained moderate to heavy damage with majority of those closed for repair or debris cleanup. Damage to buildings along the beaches in Karong and Kata beaches appeared was less than for the beaches further north e.g. Patong beach, Kamala beach. Figure 6(a) below depicts the routes along which GPS readings, georeferenced video coverage and photographic record were collected. Figures 6(b) through 6(d) are a selection of digital photographs showing damage in areas surveyed in Phuket.




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Figure 6 VIEWS reconnaissance routes in Phuket. (a) Phuket Survey Routes, (b) Kamala Beach damage, (c) Alley near Patong beach with debris brought by the waves, (d) Cordoned off shopping areas along Patong beach to help cleanup operations


Preliminary Damage Visualization using D-VRS

In order to integrate, share, visualize, and ultimately analyze post-disaster reconnaissance field data collected using VIEWS, MCEER funded the development of tandem internet- and desktop-based ‘virtual reconnaissance systems’, referred to as VRS and D-VRS. Figure 7 shows a screen grab from D-VRS, which provides researchers with easy access to the satellite imagery, GPS readings and georeferenced video and photographic records for the survey sites. The User has an option to toggle between multitemporal and multi-source satellite images, and to explore these images in detail using zoom and pan functions. These images are overlaid with GPS routes collected during the survey. By selecting a GPS point, the User can view corresponding video footage and scroll through the photographic archive in the adjacent windows. The photographic library can be augmented with stills captured directly from the video as it plays, each of which is output to a new georeferenced file.

screen shot with three windows

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Figure 7 Screen shot from the D-VRS virtual reconnaissance system, showing satellite imagery, GPS readings, video footage and digital photographs collected in Khao Lak, Thailand

For this study, a multi-look angle version of visualization interface was developed by ImageCat. From Figure 8, three windows (front, left, and right) play video footage from the three cameras that were simultaneously deployed within heavily affected areas. This video collection and visualization process provides an enhanced field of view.

screen shot with four windows

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Figure 8 Screen shot from the D-VRS virtual reconnaissance system, showing satellite imagery, GPS readings, video footage from three video cameras collected in Khao Lak, Thailand.


Adams, Beverley J., Huyck, Charles K., and Mansouri, Babak (2004). Streamlining Post-Earthquake Data Collection and Damage Assessment in Bam, Using VIEWS (Visualizing the Impacts of Earthquakes with Satellite Images).

Adams, Beverley J., Womble, J. Arn, Mio, Michael Z., Turner, John B., Mehta, Kishor C. and Ghosh, Shubharoop (2004). Collection of Satellite–referenced Building Damage Information in the Aftermath of Hurricane Charley.

Huyck, C., Scawthorn, C., Bardet, Jean-Pierre, Kayen, R., Kawamata, Y., Olshanky, R., Somerville, P., Mori, J., Rathje, E., Bay, J., Jibson, R., Kelson, K., Pack R., Nishi, N. (2005). Preliminary Observations on the Niigata Ken Chuetsu, Japan. Earthquake of October 23, 2004. EERI Newsletter, January 2005 Volume 39, Number 1.



Preliminary Field Report: Post-Tsunami Urban Damage Survey in Thailand, Using the VIEWS Reconnaissance System | Page 3 of 3|1 2 3

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