Satellite view of typhoon devastation

BEFORE AND AFTER. A general overview of Tacloban City's downtown and airport areas before (L) and after (R) Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), in maps released by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) November 11, 2013. The color-coded gradings indicate destroyed (red), highly affected (orange), moderately affected (yellow-orange), and possibly affected (yellow) structures or areas.

Images u00a9 European Union, 2013

MANILA, Philippines – Satellite images are bringing a clearer picture of the devastation brought by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) across the Visayas.

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) of the European Commission since Monday, November 11, have been releasing maps of the disaster zone, particularly Tacloban City and parts of Leyte. These were particularly hard-hit by the extreme weather event, which saw winds of upward of 235 kilometers per hour and storm surges reportedly as high as 5 meters.

In the maps from the Copernicus EMS, at least "70% of the built-up area" in the areas around Tacloban City's downtown and airport are either fully or partially destroyed.

The UNITAR also released maps, this time showing the destruction in Tabontabon and Dulag towns in Leyte.

It showed that parts of Dulag was "almost completely eradicated by Typhoon Haiyan," the UNITAR said.

Side-by-side comparisons of the reference and grading maps released by Copernicus show massive damage to structures, mostly to those located near the coasts.

BEFORE AND AFTER. The Tacloban City downtown area before (L) and after (R) Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), in maps released by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) November 11, 2013. The color-coded gradings indicate destroyed (red), highly affected (orange), moderately affected (yellow-orange), and possibly affected (yellow) structures or areas.

Images u00a9 European Union, 2013

BEFORE AND AFTER. An area in Tacloban City before (L) and after (R) Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), in maps released by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) November 11, 2013. The color-coded gradings indicate destroyed (red), highly affected (orange), moderately affected (yellow-orange), and possibly affected (yellow) structures or areas.

Images u00a9 European Union, 2013

BEFORE AND AFTER. The peninsula where the Tacloban airport is located before (L) and after (R) Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), in maps released by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) November 11, 2013. The color-coded gradings indicate destroyed (red), highly affected (orange), moderately affected (yellow-orange), and possibly affected (yellow) structures or areas.

Images u00a9 European Union, 2013

Comparing pre- and post-event satellite images, the Copernicus EMS showed the following information:

The EU Emergency Response Coordination Centre requested for the images, to help in the assessment of the extent of damage.

"The damage assessment maps are expected to support response activities and, in the longer term, reconstruction efforts," the European Commission Joint Research Centre  said Monday.

The satellite images were released separately by the two agencies starting last Saturday, November 9.

The maps can be accessed here:

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