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US giving China satellite images of quake damage: Pentagon

File image of an EO satellite photo supplied by Taiwan and soon to be supplemented with higher resolution images from the US.
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) May 19, 2008
The United States is providing China with satellite imagery of reservoirs, roads and bridges damaged in the earthquake that devastated southwestern Sichuan province, the Pentagon said.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is expected to provide the first of the unclassified imagery on Monday if weather permits, in what officials believed to be an unprecedented step.

"They have asked the United States for some imagery of damaged reservoirs, roads, and bridges and the National Geospatial-Intelligence agency (NGA) is providing resources to give them that type of support," said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

China paved the way for the heightened level of cooperation over the weekend by allowing two US Air Force C-17 transport planes to fly in to Changdou, China with food, water, containers, blankets, generators, and various types of hand tools.

An estimated 71,000 people are dead, missing or buried a week after a powerful earthquake struck southwestern China.

A spokesman for the NGA said the agency was providing annotated images and maps to Chinese authorities through diplomatic channels.

"This event appears to be the first time that NGA, or one of its predecessor organizations, has provided unclassified imagery-derived products to the PRC (Peoples Republic of China) in support of disaster relief efforts," said NGA spokesman David Burpee.

But he said unclassified textual reports derived from imagery may have been provided to China before in disaster relief situations.

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Taiwan shares satellite images with China of quake disaster area
Taipei (AFP) May 15, 2008
Taiwan has provided rival China satellite images showing some areas devastated by the 7.9-magnitude earthquake in the mainland's southwest, officials and academics said Thursday.

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