||In a recurrent way Honduras has been exposed to natural disasters as a result of its local vulnerability. Landslides are possibly the most common and destructive natural disasters in Honduras. The arrival of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras in 1998 produced effects that were unprecedented in their wide-spread nature throughout the country. Estimations indicate that landslides damaged 70% of the road network in Honduras and nearly 1,000 fatalities.|
Abundant vegetation and deep roots are helpful to have stable soils and to limit the amount potential of a landslide. For this, the aim and objectives of developing the landslide identification after Hurricane Mitch and its vegetation recovery using satellite images from 1996, 1999 for the landslide identification, and 2003 and 2007 landsat images for the vegetation recovery.
The study area selected was in response to the priorization developed by local authorities. In El Cajon reservoir watershed 5 counties were selected and in Choluteca River watershed 14 counties. Landslides were identified using NDVI calculated from the Landsat scenes from 1996, previous Hurricane Mitch, and 1999 scene after the Hurricane. The results show an occurrence of 162 landslides in “El Cajon” Reservoir with a total landslide area of 547.99 Has. 817 landslide events in Choluteca River watershed with a total landslide area of 959.45 making a total of 979 landslides and a landslide area of 1507.44 Has. To assess the landslide identification, ground truth was intersected with them. Another technique to asses it was a Probability map generated using the Data mining analysis. The Vegetation recovery of these landslides identified was calculated for two periods, 1999-2003 and 2003-2007 using NDVI calculated from the Landsat images year 2003 and 2007. In “El Cajon” Reservoir watershed, in the year 2003 the vegetation recovery rate is 84.8% and the Vegetation recovery rate by the year 2007 is 89.6% showing a very high rate of recovery. For Choluteca river watershed area the situation is not so good. The recovery rates by the year 2003 are 20.23%, and by the year 2007 the recovery rate is: 33.32%. The data statistics generated reflect the need of artificial vegetation for the disturbed areas in Choluteca river watershed although for El Cajon reservoir watershed area, the artificial vegetation recovery is not required. This research can become a tool for decision makers in order to assess the recovery of landslides for future planning and reorganization of human settlements as well as techniques for natural disasters management planning in the field of landslides.
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