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The Red Cross Has Mapped The Horrific Building Damage In Typhoon-Wrecked Tacloban

An estimated 582,000 people are now homeless after “super typhoon” Haiyan shattered homes, livelihoods, and families last week. Aid organizations (and the New York Times) have begun to map the damage left in the storm’s wake, but this interactive map of Tacloban’s building damage from the American Red Cross is one of the most thoroughly arresting visualizations we’ve seen.

As you can see, the fishing city of what was once 220,000 residents is now dominated by splotches of red and orange, which show “totally affected” and “highly affected” buildings. To the north and further inland, there’s a minority of yellow “possibly affected buildings” and green. Zoom in and you can see entire high schools, parishes, and universities that are likely razed.


As Keir Clarke at Google Maps Mania pointed out, Red Cross mapmakers relied on data from the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS), a satellite damage assessment program from the European Commission’s Joint Research Center (JRC). The EMS showed that the storm flattened more than 700 of Tacloban’s residential buildings, and damaged 1,200. The storm also destroyed five industrial facilities, seven educational buildings, and blocked 18 roads.


On Tuesday, President Benigno Aquino told CNN that officials now put the typhoon’s death toll at 2,000 to 2,500 fatalities. Meanwhile, Tacloban City has mandated a curfew between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. to keep order amid the damage. “Women and children are begging on the streets for donations, exposing themselves to abuse and exploitation,” U.N. refugee agency spokesman Adrian Edwards told press in Geneva.

To donate to aid organizations working on the ground, check out a list of options here.SB