Severe winter storms drenched New Zealand’s North Island with heavy rain, producing floods and landslides on July 18, 2004. About 1,500 fled from their homes as the swollen Rangitaiki River burst its banks and a large mudslide threatened a neighborhood in the city of Whakatane. This true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image was taken on July 18 at the height of the floods. Muddy brown flood water is pooled near the mouth of the Rangitaiki, left. The region’s sediment-laden rivers are emptying into the Bay of Plenty, spreading a blue-green cloud of dirt into the ocean.
NASA image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.