Home v2

Disaster Updates

  • When disasters occur, our researchers become providers and distributors of images, data, and damage assessments. The Disasters team and network of partners and volunteers assist with hazard assessment, evaluation of severity, and identification of impacts near vulnerable infrastructure, crops, and lifelines especially in remote areas where observations are sparse to provide guidance for action.
    Photo of Hurricane Florence from the ISS
  • UAVSAR image overlaid a Googe Earth Map. The red borders are fire extent from the Woolsey Fire in California.  NASA deployed a research aircraft on Nov. 15 for a nighttime flight over the California Woolsey Fire. The NASA C-20 aircraft carried sensors to map the fire scar, with a goal...
    UAVSAR image overlaid a Googe Earth Map. Credit: Andrea Donnellan, NASA JPL, Google Earth, UAVSAR
  • The circles in Fig. 2 indicate the data uncertainty range; signals beyond the circles are meaningful.  On November 30, 2018 a magnitude 7 earthquake occurred near Anchorage, Alaska cracking buildings, damaging roads and buckling bridges. Over 4,500 structures were destroyed in the event. NASA’s...
    The circles in Fig. 2 indicate the data uncertainty range; signals beyond the circles are meaningful. 
  • The recent catastrophic fires in California have yielded scenes of chaos in the region and the NASA Disasters program is working on providing the most recent satellite information that could help people on the ground. Dispersed smoke through the region has serious impacts...
    Images showing smoke plume data from California Wildfires
  • The Measurement of Pollution in the Troposphere (MOPITT) instrument is flying on board NASA's Terra satellite. It observes Carbon Monoxide (CO) in the troposphere through thermal and near infrared channels. This product was created by the MOPITT Near-Real Time system...

About the NASA Disasters Program

The Disasters Applications area promotes the use of Earth observations to improve prediction of, preparation for, response to, and recovery from natural and technological disasters. Disaster applications and applied research on natural hazards support emergency preparedness leaders in developing mitigation approaches, such as early warning systems, and providing information and maps to disaster response and recovery teams.


Earth Observatory

December 10, 2018

A Wintry Great Lakes Landscape
A break in the clouds revealed a wintry landscape around the Midwest and Great Lakes.


December 4, 2018

Cyclone Effects Run Deep
Hurricanes and typhoons cause vast amounts of heat to sink into the sea, which might have implications for seasonal and long-term climate.


December 3, 2018

Winter Arrives in the Sierra Nevada
As November came to a close, mountain areas saw their first significant snowfall of the season.


November 28, 2018

Snow Across the Midwest
A November blizzard snarled transportation and disrupted power across a wide area.


November 28, 2018

Ash Over the Gulf of Alaska
During a recent bout of activity, Veniaminof volcano rumbled and spit out ash, lava, and volcanic gases.



Airborne Science
Asset Tracker