January 2010 Estimation of Damages Incurred in the Haiti Earthquake

An earthquake hit the Republic of Haiti (hereafter, "Haiti") at 16:53 local time, January 12, 2010 (UTC: 21:53, Japan time: 06:53 on January 13). The epicenter of the earthquake was 25 km west-southwest of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, and had a magnitude of 7.0 (according to a release by the United States Geological Survey, hereafter "USGS"). This was the first time since 1860 that an earthquake of this magnitude had hit Haiti.
According to USGS' preliminary reports on the earthquake, the epicenter was located at a latitude of 18.457 degrees, longitude of 72.533 degrees west, and had a depth of 13 km. The earthquake was thought to have occurred as a result of a left-lateral strike slip motion along the Enriquilla-Plantain Garden Fault.
As a result of the large magnitude of 7.0 and the shallow epicenter in the earth’s crust, the earthquake wrought massive damage to Haiti. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as of January 22, the Haitian government has confirmed 111,481 fatalities, making this the first single earthquake of such a large-scale in recent years.

Imaging Using TerraSAR-X (Synthetic Aperture Radar)

PASCO analyzed images acquired by the synthetic aperture radar satellite "TerraSAR-X," which also included the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, located near the epicenter. We then estimated the damage incurred in affected areas, such as collapsed buildings in the city.
This map shows an attempt to assess the degree of damage, based on images acquired on October 13, 2009 and January 20, 2010, respectively, after the earthquake. The focus was placed on differences in backscattering intensity arising as a result of changes in buildings and other factors.

Imaging Specifications

Acquisition dates and times : October 13, 2009, 10:44 (UTC)
January 20, 2010, 10:44 (UTC)
Imaging mode : StripMap
Angle of incidence : 39.1°
Acquisition orbit : Descending orbit
Polarized wave : Single polarization (HH)
Haiti Earthquake
TerraSAR-X image acquired after the earthquake, and diagram showing the relationship in the location of the epicenter and fault

The backscattering intensities in images acquired in October 2009 and after the earthquake in January 2010 were compared, and areas that showed changes were highlighted in red.
These areas of changes could represent scattered rubble of roads and buildings damaged in the earthquake.
The picture shows the degree of damage incurred in a 250 m square area, based on the results obtained through image analysis. According to the analysis, the darker the color of the area, the greater is the estimated surface area of buildings or other landforms damaged.

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History of Information Released


From the perspective of understanding the damage situation caused by the disaster, and of providing information to the relevant organizations, PASCO carried out estimations for the areas of damage immediately utilizing SAR satellite images, which are not impacted by weather conditions.

We express our deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by the disaster.
We will strive even harder to be of service to all through the application of our spatial information processing and analysis technologies, as well as through our disaster prevention consulting expertise, in order to obtain accurate information on the disaster situation and assist in the recovery of the affected areas.

< TerraSAR-X : InfoterraGmbH, Distribution [PASCO] >
*The reuse or copying of images and other information available here without prior permission is strictly prohibited.

[ Copyright ]

The copyright for the documents recorded in the disaster and emergency photos of this page belongs to PASCO CORPORATION.
In addition, the copyright for the use of TerraSAR-X in this page is also the property of PASCO CORPORATION.
Please contact us for permission to distribute or copy the information (documents and images) recorded in this page.

[ Disclaimer ]

PASCO CORPORATION strived to make the information in this page as accurate as possible at the time of publication; however PASCO CORPORATION does not guarantee integrity or accuracy of the information recorded in this page. PASCO CORPORATION accepts no liability for any loss or damage directly or indirectly, arising from the use of this information or contents. In case the information provided in this page is evidently different from the actual, in order to correct it please contact us.

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