Uncovering Community Disruption Using Remote Sensing: An Assessment of Early Recovery in Post-earthquake Haiti

This work is part of an exploratory study that seeks to describe the levels of community-scale building damage and socio-economic disruption following the January 2010 Haiti earthquake. Damage and disruption were analyzed for pre-event, post-event, and early recovery time periods in seven Haitian communities. Specifically here, remote sensing analysis related to early recovery and a remote sensing-based early recovery scale are presented. Damage datasets from the GEO-CAN post-disaster assessment were combined with analyses of fine resolution satellite imagery, captured 4 months after the earthquake, to quantify the early recovery status of damaged buildings. Disruption was established from community-level interviews conducted in May 2010. Preliminary results show little correlation between disruption and physical damage, although the integration of remote sensing, field data, interviews and community meetings was a successful approach for assessing disruption. Remote sensing was seen to be an effective tool in establishing levels of early recovery and supporting cross-community comparisons.
Computer Technology, Earthquake-Case Studies, Structural Collapse, Public Works, Disaster Recovery