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NASA’s MODIS capture Floods in Argentina

Argentina, 13 April 2007: Accumulated rainfall in the month of March 20-26 has created floods in Argentina’s Paraná River and its tributaries. When the clouds cleared on April 3, 2007, the MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite captured the main image of the floods in the Santa Fe and Entre Rios states, where the flood damage was worst.

In the center of the image are the two state capitals, Santa Fe and Paraná . The cement-colored cities sit on opposite banks of the river, and both sustained significant damage in the floods. Dark bands show the encroaching of water on the cities in the image. The image was taken from infrared and visible light to highlight the presence of water, which is black or dark blue in this image. Clouds are light blue and white, plant-covered land is green, and bare ground is tan-pink. The variegated green and tan land on either side of the river is agricultural land.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the governor of Santa Fe called March’s extreme rainfall “the most radical climatic phenomenon of the last 100 years.” Up to 500 millimeters of rain fell over parts of Santa Fe in the span of a week, where the average annual rainfall is 900-1,000 millimeters. The rain left four million hectares (15,000 square miles) flooded, which affected more than 70,000 people, said OCHA. Several cities were flooded, including Santa Fe and Paraná , and as many as 20 were completely isolated. Damage in Paraná was estimated to be over 10 million dollars.