With the landfall of Hurricane Irma on the 6th of September 2017, large parts of St. Maarten were damaged. Initial estimates of damage range from 70 -90% of buildings affected by the tropical storm. For the further humanitarian aid provided by the Red Cross, a more accurate assessment of the damage on the whole island is essential.



A simplified version of the ID -editor will be used to solely classify damage to structures on the island. For the assessment of damage an adopted version of the BAR classification from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (Al Achkar, Baker, Raymond, 2016) will be used.
The BAR classification has been chosen as a base for damage assessment as it was designed for the assessment or wind damage to structures using Remote Sensing. In this classification scheme 2 distinctions are made, the strength of a structure before the natural disaster and the endured damage after. For the classification of the structures on St. Maarten only the latter, damage to the structure, will be considered. The damage classification is divided in 4 ordinal categories:
  • No Observable Damage
  • Visible Damage
  • Partial Extensive Damage
  • Complete Visible Damage




The different types of roofs are categorized as follows:

  • Hipped roof
  • Pitch roof
  • Flat roof

Visuals of each are below. This classification should be done by using the pre-disaster imagery.






Further examples are available in the Imagery Interpretation Guide from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (Al Achkar et al., 2016).
Satellite Imagery after the disaster available in following links:
Reference: Al Achkar, Z.; Baker, I. L.; Raymond, N. A.,
(2016). Imagery Interpretation Guide; Assessing Wind Disaster Damage To Structures. Harvard Humanitarian Initiative available here