Japan expert analyzes Morocco earthquake using satellite imagery

A researcher at the University of Tokyo has created a digital map based on satellite imagery analysis to show the extent of damage caused by the powerful earthquake that struck Morocco last Friday.

Professor Watanave Hidenori compared satellite images from before and after the quake, and indicated on the map places where damage was confirmed. The map has been published online.

Watanave's analysis suggests that mountainous areas were hit particularly hard. He says that in Amizmiz in the province of Al Haouz, near the focus of the quake, all the buildings in a mountain community appear to have collapsed.

But he says satellite data indicate the impact was relatively limited in flatlands of Amizmiz and the central city of Marrakech about 70 kilometers away.

Watanave points out that earthquakes do not occur frequently in Morocco, so there are concerns that relief supplies are slow to reach affected people due to lack of preparation. He also says there may be not enough places secured to take care of survivors.