Flood waters nearly surround the tiny town of Normanton, Australia—population 1,150—in this satellite image. Water had been encroaching on the town, located along the Norman River in the far northwest of Australia’s Queensland territory, since the start of 2009. The curves of the normal river channel are visible under the water to the right of the town. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation nearly 120 centimeters (50 inches) of rain had fallen in the region since the start of the new year. Much of the area’s road system was underwater, leaving Nomanton and the nearby town of Kurumba accessible only by air. Only the bridge over the Norman River (above and to the right of town) remained above water along the road from Norman to Kurumba. The Remote Sensing Instrument (RSI) aboard Taiwan’s Formosat-2 satellite acquired this natural-color image of the flooding on February 19, 2009.
Formosat image © 2009 Dr. Cheng-Chien Liu, National Cheng-Kung University, and Dr. An-Ming Wu, National Space Organization, Taiwan. Caption by Robert Simmon.