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Environment

Satellite Images Show the Extent of Haiti's Devastation

80beatsBy Eliza StricklandJanuary 15, 2010 5:30 AM

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Satellite photos that have just been released reveal the scope of the physical destruction wrought by the 7.0 earthquake that struck the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Tuesday. The human toll of is still unknown--but with much of the city reduced to rubble, experts say tens of thousands of people may be dead. This image shows roads covered with debris from collapsed structures, and the white-colored National Palace with damage visible along the roof line. The image was taken by the GeoEye-1 satellite from 423 miles up in space on Wednesday morning.

Image: GeoEye

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Google Maps has provided before and after photos of Port-au-Prince taken by its satellites. Google says it hopes the images will help aid organizations involved in the relief effort. This "before" shot shows a neat layout of city streets and buildings, many of which were destroyed by the quake. Poor construction throughout the city caused many buildings to collapse.

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The quake brought down many significant buildings in Port-au-Prince, including all the hospitals and the Presidential Palace. Here's the president's residence before and after the disaster. The roof of much of the building seems to have collapsed.

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The quake has also done environmental damage. This photo from Google shows an oil slick spreading through Haiti's coastal waters.

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This park or playing field was empty when the Google Maps satellite flew over it before the quake. When it photographed the same field yesterday, a refugee camp had already sprung up on the grass. Related Content: 80beats: Haiti Earthquake May Have Released 250 Years of Seismic Stress The Intersection: Ways to Support the Relief Effort in Haiti

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