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MCEER Earthquake Reconnaissance Investigation

Building Damage Visualization

Figure 6 and Figure 7 provide a close-up view of damage within selected areas where the regional damage assessment recorded extreme changes. Identifying and visualizing building collapse in this way could guide search and rescue teams to the probable location of trapped victims.


satellite image of Bam citadel before the earthquake with main fortress area circled. Detail  shows clear lines in an even surface.
Image shows large ruts and craters on an uneven surface after quake. Detail indicating buildings has been blurred as if partially erased.
(a) before (b) after

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Figure 6 Visual comparison of (a) before and (b) after QuickBird satellite imagery reveals widespread devastation within the Bam citadel. Reports indicate that the December 26th 2003 earthquake destroyed the main fortress (see annotation), together with 95% of surrounding buildings. Imagery courtesy of DigitalGlobe,


According to field reports, up to 95% of buildings collapsed within the ancient Bam citadel. From Figure 6, the eastern wall of the fortress has collapsed (see also Figure 2b). Surrounding dwellings that were clearly defined in the before scene are replaced by indistinct piles of debris, where their walls and roofs have collapsed.



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