For the past two weeks floods have ravaged eastern India and northern Bangladesh, killing over 50 people and displacing hundreds of thousands from their homes. This false-color image acquired on July 16, 2002, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra spacecraft shows some of the worst flooding. The dark brown swollen river at the top of the image is the Brahmaputra River, which flows through the middle of the Indian state of Assam. Normally, the river and its tributaries would resemble a tangle of thin lines. Cloud cover obstructs additonal flooding in northern Bangladesh.
In this false-color image, land is tan, and clouds are pink and white. Water comes across as black or dark brown.
India’s Brahmaputra River was already flooded in early August, but those floods turned out to be small compared to the floods that hit the river in early September. The river flooded for the third time in 2007 when monsoon rain pounded northeastern India, Bhutan, and Bangladesh in September.