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.
Acquired on July 18 and August 1, 2009, these false-color images provide a before-and-after view of the Sitamarhi District of the Indian state of Bihar. The image from August 1 shows swollen waterways and large areas of standing water.