Floods in Northeastern India
acquired August 31, 2009 download large image (2 MB, JPEG, 3184x3184)
Floods in Northeastern India
acquired July 18, 2009 download large image (3 MB, JPEG, 3184x3184)

Floods continued in the northeastern Indian state of Bihar at the end of August 2009. The death toll along the Kosi River climbed to 52, several other rivers rose above their danger levels along parts of their routes, and torrential rains affected an estimated 1.5 million people, according to news reports.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the top image on August 31, 2009, and the bottom image on July 18, 2009. Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land. Vegetation appears bright green, clouds appear bright turquoise, and water ranges in color from navy to electric blue. High water is apparent throughout the later image, as river channels barely discernible weeks earlier overflow with water. High water is especially evident just north of the Ganges (Ganga) River, along the route of the Ghugri River.

  1. References

  2. Press Trust of India. (2009, August 31). No let up in Bihar flood situation, 1.5 M hit. Accessed August 31, 2009.
  3. SifyNews. (2009, August 29). Death toll in Bihar floods reaches 52. Accessed August 31, 2009.

NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott.

Instrument(s): 
Aqua - MODIS

Floods in Northeastern India

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