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Seasonal floods along the Zambezi River

Seasonal floods along the Zambezi River

Officials in Namibia worked quickly to evacuate more people in the southern Caprivi Strip as a second wave of flooding on the Zambezi River pushed south toward Lake Liambezi. The lake has been dry since 1985, and the flood waters are expected to spread quickly as the lake fills. The Caprivi Strip began to flood in early February, far earlier than the typical rainy season floods. This year’s floods have affected some 50,000 people and are being called the worst floods the region has seen since 1958.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite acquired this image on April 17, 2004. At 250 meters per pixel, the image shows how wide-spread the black flood waters are against the tan and green land. In places, the dark channel of the Zambezi River can be seen as a thin line cutting diagonally across the flood plain.

Image courtesy Jesse Allen, based on data from the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC