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Tag: flood

Google Earth Imagery Updates: Floods

by Timothy Whitehead on Jul.04, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Google has recently updated the ‘historical imagery’ layer and today we are having a look at a couple of floods.

Black River, Arkansas.
We had a look at this flooding event last month using low resolution Sentinel-2 imagery. Now there is higher resolution DigitalGlobe imagery we can see a lot more detail. The imagery was captured on May 6th, 2017.

The road below appears to have also served as a levee to prevent flooding. However, it has clearly been breached in a number of places, causing major flooding downstream.

Multiple breaches in a levee, Black River, Arkansas (near Pocahontas).


Flooded houses downstream from the breached levee.

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Pocahontas, Arkansas, showing how the height of the river during the flood compares to the normal level.

Rigaud, Quebec, Canada.
According to this article, between April 5 and May 16, more than 5,700 homes were flooded and more than 4,000 people forced from their homes in Quebec, Canada. One of the worst affected towns was Rigaud. There are some DigitalGlobe images from May 17 after the water started to subside, but we can still see some flooded areas.


Flooded houses in Rigaud, Quebec, Canada.


Retreating flood waters, Rigaud, Quebec, Canada.

For outlines of the above imagery and locations of interest, download this KML file.

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Google Earth Imagery Updates: Flooding and Factory Fire

by Timothy Whitehead on Jun.05, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Today we are having a look at three different floods and a factory fire.

Dominican Republic
In late April and early May, the Dominican Republic and neighbouring Haiti experienced heavy rainfall. There is a DigitalGlobe image captured on April 29th showing a region around Santo Domingo, the capital of the Domincan Republic:


Flooding to the north of Santo Domingo.

Malaysia
In January this year Malaysia experienced severe flooding, forcing 23,000 people from their homes. According to Wikipedia severe flooding is a near yearly occurrence in Malaysia. Worst affected were the north-eastern provinces Kelantan and Terengganu. The image below is from Kelantan. It is often hard to tell in rice growing regions what is abnormal flooding and what is deliberately flooded rice fields. In the region pictured, the houses appear to be on higher ground and appear to be mostly dry. We have included an older image for comparison as we initially mistook the local canals for flooded roads.

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San Jose, California.
In February, Coyote Creek overflowed in San Jose, California, resulting in evacuations of thousands of people. The image is black and white and we could only find one location that shows signs of flooding:


Flooding in San Jose, California.

Factory fire in the Philippines
In February, a factory caught fire near General Trias, the Philippines, injuring more than a hundred workers and resulting in at least five fatalities.


Factory fire in the Philippines.

To find the above locations in Google Earth, download this KML file. We have included outlines of relevant imagery and a couple of placemarks for other interesting sights we found while exploring the areas.

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Ongoing Sri Lanka flooding visible in Sentinel-2 imagery

by Timothy Whitehead on May.30, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Sri Lanka is currently experiencing severe flooding across its south-western region, reportedly killing at least 122 people so far. We had a look at Sentinel-2 imagery and were impressed to find some very recent imagery from May 28th, 2017, already available on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Below you can see the southern city of Matara surrounded by flood waters, as well as the muddy water streaming into the Indian Ocean.


Southern Sri Lanka as seen in Sentinel-2 imagery.


A close up of Matara.

To see the above Sentinel-2 image in Google Earth download this KML file.

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The Peru Floods with Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on May.22, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

A couple of weeks ago we had a look at three different floods around the world, including Lima, Peru. However, the flooding in Peru was very extensive, so today we are looking at some other locations around Peru.

Here is a ‘before and after’ showing how the Moche River, which passes through Trujillo, Peru, created a new delta:

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after

Moche River delta creation.

Further north we can see how the Chancay River grew significantly wider:

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after

Chancay River. We are seeing it after the water has subsided from it highest levels.

Zooming out and using Landsat imagery, we can see some large areas that were completely flooded. They are naturally swampy areas, but we could not find this extent of flooding in older imagery, so we believe it to be quite unusual.

before
after

Left: Google Earth imagery composed of Landsat/Sentinel-2 mosaic. Right: Landsat image from April 4th, 2017.

To find the above locations in Google Earth, download this KML file. We have included an image overlay of the Landsat image. We have also outlined all the 2017 imagery we could find for Peru. If you come across any other 2017 imagery in the region, please let us know in the comments.

The inland parts of Peru drain into the Amazon basin. There was also significant flooding there, but it is rain forest, so it is unlikely that we will see any high resolution satellite imagery (too much cloud cover). It also seems probable that as the water flows towards the ocean we will see floods along the Amazon in Brazil later in the year.

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Google Earth Imagery Update – Floods around the World

by Timothy Whitehead on May.08, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

As we mentioned last week Google recently did an imagery update. The fresh imagery has now been pushed to ‘historical imagery’ and we are looking at three floods around the world.

Lima, Peru
We mentioned Lima, Peru in a previous imagery update. At that time, the imagery was from just before the worst floods. 2017 has seen heavy rains in much of South America with significant flooding in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Peru. According to Wikipedia, more than 115,000 homes were demolished, leaving approximately 178,000 people homeless. A total of 113 people were killed, 354 were injured, and a further 18 were missing.

The Rímac River flows through Lima and you can see it forming a delta in February and March.


Rímac River delta forming in Lima, Peru.

 


Rímac River, Lima, Peru. In the photo, a foot bridge is partially flooded and a road is damaged. However, we believe that at the height of the floods, most of the surrounding roads were flooded.

New Zealand. Cyclone Debbie.
Cyclone Debbie caused major flooding across the eastern coast of Australia and parts of New Zealand. Last week we had a look at Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia using Sentinel-2 imagery. Below we see some flooding around Edgecumbe, North Island, New Zealand.


Flooding around Edgecumbe, New Zealand.


A closeup of Edgecumbe, New Zealand.

Madagascar – Tropical Cyclone Enawo
Tropical Cyclone Enawo passed over Madagascar in early March causing major flooding along the eastern coast. DigitalGlobe released some spectacular images which, unfortunately, haven’t made their way into Google Earth. However, there is quite a lot of fresh DigitalGlobe imagery, mostly from after the worst of the flooding along the coast. We only found one image captured during the flood:


The region around Maroantsetra, Madagascar


A close up of some houses up-river from Maroantsetra, Madagascar

To find the above locations in Google Earth, download this KML file

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The 2017 Queensland Floods in Sentinel-2 imagery

by Timothy Whitehead on May.01, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

In late March, 2017, Tropical Cyclone Debbie crossed the eastern coast of Australia and then moved on to New Zealand. The heavy rainfall resulted in major floods all along its path. The floods were captured in several Sentinel-2 and Landsat images in early April. The best image we could find is a Sentinel-2 image captured on April 8th of the region around Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.


The city of Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.Copernicus Sentinel data, 2017.


The region around Rockhampton.Copernicus Sentinel data, 2017.

The imagery was obtained via the archive on Amazon AWS and processed using GeoSage’s Spectral Discovery tool.

As you can see from the measuring stick in this article the recent flood wasn’t the worst on record, but wasn’t far off.

To view the imagery in Google Earth you can download a low resolution version of the whole Sentinel-2 tile and a high resolution version of just the Rockhampton area. We can’t share the full processed image as it is over 350Mb.

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Google Earth Imagery Updates – Migrants and floods

by Timothy Whitehead on Jan.03, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

We have recently been looking at the latest imagery updates added to ‘historical imagery’. So far we have been looking at the US, including wildfires and more wildfires, floods and a tornado.

Today we are moving on to other parts of the world.

Calais Jungle
The Calais Jungle was a refugee and migrant camp in Calais, France, situated next to the English Chanel. Most of the people who lived there were trying to get to the United Kingdom. The camp was evacuated and closed in late October, 2016. The latest image in Google Earth is from August, 2016, so we cannot yet see it after the closure. However, we can see how the camp grew between 2013 and 2016.


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Flooding in India, August, 2016
In August, 2016, eastern and central India experienced severe flooding, killing at least 300 people and affecting millions.

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after

This is part of the Ganges flood plain near Patna, India

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after

Extensive flooding near Patna, India even in areas that are not obviously flood plain.

Flooding in Bangladesh, August, 2016
Also due to the same heavy monsoons that caused the flooding in India above, Bangladesh experienced severe flooding, killing at least 42 people. The imagery is from August 23rd and we believe that the worst of the flooding was over by then, but we can still see some flooded areas.

Flooding in Vietnam, October-December, 2016
Central Vietnam experienced severe flooding at least three times from October to December, 2016. The imagery in Google Earth is from early November.

before
after

It is often hard to tell, even when comparing with older imagery, what is normally or seasonally wet land (lake, river, flood plain) and what is unusual flooding.

Flooding in Japan, August, 2016
Typhoon Lionrock caused major flooding in northern Japan. The imagery in Google Earth is from after the flood, but we can see some of the damage caused.

before
after

 
To see the above locations in Google Earth download this KML file. We have also outlined the extent of the relevant imagery for each location.

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Google Earth Imagery Updates – Migrants and floods

by Timothy Whitehead on Jan.03, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

We have recently been looking at the latest imagery updates to be added to ‘historical imagery’. So far we have been looking at the US including wildfires and more wildfires, floods and a tornado.

Today we are moving on to other parts of the world.

Calais Jungle
The Calais Jungle was a refugee and migrant camp in Calais, France, situated next to the English Chanel. Most of the people who lived there were trying to get to the United Kingdom. The camp was evacuated and closed in late October, 2016. The latest image in Google Earth is from August, 2016 so we cannot yet see it after the closure. However, we can see how the camp grew between 2013 and 2016.


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Flooding in India, August, 2016
In August, 2016, eastern and central India experienced severe flooding killing at least 300 people and affecting millions.

before
after

This is part of the Ganges flood plain near Patna, India

before
after

Extensive flooding near Patna, India even in areas that are not obviously flood plain.

Flooding in Bangladesh, August, 2016
Also due to the same heavy monsoons that caused the flooding in India above, Bangladesh experienced severe flooding killing at least 42 people. The imagery is from August 23rd and we believe that the worst of the flooding was over by then, but we can still see some flooded areas.

Flooding in Vietnam, October-December, 2016
Central Vietnam experienced severe flooding at least three times from October to December, 2016. The imagery in Google Earth is from early November.

before
after

It is often hard to tell, even when comparing with older imagery, what is normally wet land (lake, river, flood plain) and what is unusual flooding.

Flooding in Japan, August, 2016
Typhoon Lionrock caused major flooding in northern Japan. The imagery in Google Earth is from after the flood, but we can see some of the damage caused.

before
after

 
To see the above locations in Google Earth download this KML file. We have also outlined the extent of the relevant imagery for each location.

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Google Earth Imagery Updates, Fire, Flood, Tornado!

by Timothy Whitehead on Jan.02, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Google recently updated the ‘historical imagery’ layer after nearly six months of no updates. So, there is a lot of interesting new imagery to see. Last week we had a look at some US wildfires. Today, we are staying with the US and having a look at some more wildfires, some floods and a tornado.

Blue Cut Fire, Cajon Pass, California
The Blue Cut Fire destroyed 105 homes and 213 other structures in August, 2016.

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after

 

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Pilot Fire, California.
The Pilot Fire took place just a short distance to the east of the above Blue Cut Fire. We can see the extent of the burn in Google Earth and a number of houses that were saved by effective firefighting. See the KML file at the end of this post for the location in Google Earth.

Cold Springs Fire, Colorado, July, 2016


We can see the fire in progress.


And we can see the burnt area in later imagery.
 

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after

Some houses burnt by the Cold Springs Fire.

Baton Rouge, Louisiana Flooding
Back in August we used Sentinel-2 imagery to see the severe flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Read more about the widespread Louisiana flooding event on Wikipedia.

There is now some DigitalGlobe imagery of Baton Rouge showing the flood in various stages:

Kokomo Tornado.
A number of tornadoes struck Indiana in late August, 2016, including one that hit Kokomo, Indiana, destroying a Starbucks in the process. The satellite imagery is not very good quality, although we can see the location of the Starbucks that was destroyed. There is however Street View from before and after the event showing that the Starbucks no longer exists:

before
after

See in Google Maps

To find the locations of the imagery above in Google Earth download this KML file

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Floods around the world as seen in Google Earth

by Timothy Whitehead on Oct.07, 2016, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Flooding is a remarkably common phenomenon around the globe. Satellite imaging companies often try to capture imagery of the floods as such imagery is useful for governments and emergency services. DigitalGlobe, for example, has its First Look program through which it captures imagery and distributes it to emergency responders. Today we are looking at a few locations that we know about via the FirstLook program and where the imagery has since made its way into Google Earth. However, none of the imagery in today’s locations really captures the full scale of the events. This is due to a number of reasons:

  • There is often no warning for floods. There may be warning for particular types of well-known weather systems such as cyclones and typhoons, or when there are heavy rains in a region the rivers downstream may be expected to flood. But even so, the severity of the flood is hard to predict.
  • Floods follow rain and there are often cloudy conditions during and shortly after a flood, so it may take some time before there are suitable conditions for capturing imagery.
  • In the case of flash floods the event is typically over before the location can be imaged, so all we can expect to see is the damage caused, such as houses or roads washed away.
  • Google only puts high quality imagery in the default layer (more on this at the end of the post).

Eastern Sudan – July / August 2016
In late July and early August there were heavy rains and subsequent flooding in eastern Sudan. According to this article tens of thousands of people were affected and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed. There is a DigitalGlobe image of the town of Sennar and surrounding areas that was captured in response to the floods. Although there is a lot of standing water in the image, we could not find any flooded houses or evidence of houses washed away.

Skopje, Macedonia – August, 2016
In early August, 2016, Skopje Macedonia experienced severe flash flooding, killing at least 21 people. See this article for photos. In this case the imagery in Google Earth comes from CNES / Astrium. We can see some flooded areas, but the imagery does not quite cover the worst affected area (the northern parts of Chento).

Chetwynd, Canada – June, 2016
Chetwynd, Canada, experienced severe flooding in June, 2016 prompting a state of emergency to be declared. There is a DigitalGlobe image of Chetwynd captured after the event. Although we can see wet areas we could not find any washed away roads or bridges. We believe that the worst damage took place in areas not covered by the image.

Wuhan, China – July, 2016
The city of Wuhan was just one of many locations in China that experienced severe flooding in July. There is a CNES / Astrium image captured after the worst of the floods had already subsided, but the river is still very full, flooding some of the buildings along its banks.

In all the above locations we are looking at the imagery in the default layer. There is almost certainly more imagery hidden in ‘historical imagery’ that Google has chosen not to put in the default layer. However, Google has not updated ‘historical imagery’ since early June so we can’t see it. We should also mention Pekalongan City, Indonesia which experienced flooding in June, 2016. We can see bits of a Digital Globe image, but the parts we can see do not cover the affected area.

To see the locations above in Google Earth, download this KML file. We have marked out the extent of the relevant imagery in each location.

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