Haiti Earthquake: damage assessment in support of relief and reconstruction efforts
In the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti of 12 January 2010, the JRC supported the EC's External Relations services in coordinating a response from the EU, by issuing early warning alerts and delivering updated situation maps throughout the critical emergency phase.
18 minutes after the first shock on 12 January 2010, the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) issued a red alert to 8500 users, mainly aid and first response organisations.
Within days of the earthquake, the JRC produced a preliminary damage estimate for South Western Haiti, including Port-au-Prince, based on the analysis of state of the art pre-earthquake 60-70 cm resolution and post-earthquake 50 cm resolution satellite data. This first analysis allowed a prioritisation of the most affected areas. The preliminary damage analysis found that more than 4000 physical structures were destroyed or damaged in Haiti's densely populated capital Port-au-Prince. http://lunar.jrc.it/haiti/
These damage figures were subsequently revised by the JRC in collaboration with its key international partners, the World Bank and the United Nations Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), with in-depth analyses of an even higher resolution. This reassessment, complemented by field-based damage surveys for the housing and infra-structure sector, constituted an important input to the Post Disaster Needs Assessment and Recovery Framework (PDNA), which established a comprehensive damage and loss assessment of the impact of the Haiti earthquake and related recovery and reconstruction needs, which was presented at the international donor conference that was held in New York in March 2010.
GDACS (www.gdacs.org) is a web-based platform developed by the JRC and the United Nations. It provides near real-time alerts about natural disasters around the world and tools to facilitate response coordination.