Floods continued to menace Southeast Asia in mid-November 2011. On November 17, 2011, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured the top image. For comparison, the bottom image shows the same region three years earlier, on November 12, 2008.
The images use a combination of visible and infrared light to better distinguish between water and land. Water is navy blue. Vegetation is green. Bare ground and urban areas are earth-toned. Clouds are pale blue-green.
In Cambodia, Tônlé Sab (Tonle Sap) is significantly swollen in 2011, continuing a pattern that has lasted since August. Meanwhile, a massive floodwater lake appears along Thailand’s Chao Phraya River, north of Bangkok.
On November 14, CARE International reported a substantial death toll from the floods: 100 in Vietnam, 250 in Cambodia, and more than 500 in Thailand. Floods in Thailand threatened the 12 million residents of Bangkok, CARE said.
On November 17, Bangkok Post reported that efforts to protect the city from flooding were raising tensions along the city perimeter, where residents outside of the flood barriers coped with rising water. Thailand’s Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department confirmed the deaths of 567 people, and stated that more than 5 million residents in 20 provinces were affected.
NASA images courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Michon Scott.