Joint Research Centre - European Commission

The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

damage assessment for Port-au-Prince

Total number of damages or destroyed structures per 200 meters grid cells (click to enlarge)

Haiti earthquake: first damage assessment in support of relief efforts


More than 4000 physical structures were destroyed or damaged in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, by the magnitude 7 earthquake that struck the country on 12 January 2010. About 2000 residential buildings have partially or totally collapsed and the same number of buildings shows severe damage. A number of critical infrastructures such as government buildings, educational structures and hospitals have collapsed or are severely damaged. These are the preliminary findings of a rapid damage assessment carried out by the JRC based on the analysis of very high resolution satellite imagery acquired before and after the disaster. Rapid damage assessment provides valuable information in order to effectively plan relief and assistance measures, as well as for subsequent reconstruction and recovery planning efforts.

>> For additional information and damage assessment maps, see the press pack

The JRC has been supporting the European Commission's services in coordinating a response from the EU, by issuing early warning alerts and delivering updated situation maps. The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), a web-based platform developed by the JRC and the United Nations, detected the first shock after 18 minutes and issued a red alert to 8500 users, mainly aid and first response organisations.