Whereas monthly and annual nighttime light (NTL) composite datasets are being increasingly used to estimate socioeconomic status, use of the National Polar-orbiting Partnership Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (NPP-VIIRS) Day/Night Band (DNB) daily data has been limited for detecting and assessing the impact of short-term disastrous events. This study explores the application of daily NPP-VIIRS DNB data in assessing the impact of three types of natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, and storms. Daily DNB images one month prior to and 10 days after a disastrous event were collected and a Percent of Normal Light (PNL) image was produced as the ratio of the mean DNB radiance of the pre- and post-disaster images. Areas with a PNL value lower than one were considered as being affected by the event. The results were compared with the damaged proxy map and the flood proxy map generated using synthetic aperture radar data as well as the reported power outage rates. Our analyses show that overall NPP-VIIRS DNB daily data are useful for detecting damages and power outages caused by earthquake, storm, and flood events. Cloud coverage was identified as a major limitation in using the DNB daily data; rescue activities, traffic, and socioeconomic status of the areas also affect the use of DNB daily data in assessing the impact of natural disasters. Our findings offer new insight into the use of the daily DNB data and provide a practical guide for researchers and practitioners who may consider using such data in different situations or regions.
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