Three days of torrential monsoon rain triggered floods across much of India during the first week of August 2006. The floods displaced more than half a million people and killed at least 80 in southern India’s Andhra Pradesh state, reported Reuters on August 6. Among the most affected regions are those that lie along the Godavari River, shown in these Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images, both taken from NASA’s Terra satellite. The river swelled with the downpour and was still swollen on August 7, when MODIS captured the top image. The river and surrounding waterways were much broader than they had been just a week earlier, when MODIS took the lower image. Other signs of recent flooding are the plumes of sediment from flood run-off that pour into the Indian Ocean.
The images are shown in false color to make the earth-colored water visible against the land. Though water is normally dark blue or black, like the ocean in the lower-right corner of the image, the river is light blue. Sediment in the water scatters light, giving the water its lighter color. Plant-covered land is bright green, and clouds are pale blue and white.