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Disaster Updates

  • On July 4 and 5 near the city of Ridgecrest in Southern California two large-magnitude earthquakes struck, generating surface ruptures and damaging homes and businesses. NASA's GeoGateway team, led by research scientist Andrea Donnellan, conducted a series of drone flights to map in 3D the post-earthquakes changes in topography and terrain. The data was requested by  the California...
    Andrea Donnellan flies a Parrot Anafi with a 21 megapixel camera over the M6.4 rupture. Credit: NASA GeoGateway Team
  • These images compiled by NASA’s Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) Active Aerosol Plume-Height Project illustrate smoke heights from the Bearnose Hill and Shovel Creek fires in Alaska on July 6. MISR’s stereo texture and color images enable accurate mapping of wildfire smoke-plume heights, distinguishing smoke plumes from clouds based on detected particle properties. On July 6 and...
    These highlights from the MISR Active Aerosol Plume-Height (AAP) Project  show smoke heights from the Bearnose Hill and Shovel Creek fires in Alaska on July 6th, 2019.
  • This animation shows the heavy precipitation that Hurricane Barry produced from July 11-16 in the Gulf of Mexico and the southcentral United States. While forecasters were initially concerned that the largest accumulations would extend far over land, the heaviest rainfall  remained mostly offshore.  Precipitation estimates are derived from the GPM IMERG product, which combines microwave...
    GPM IMERG rainfall accumulation from Hurricane Barry.
  • NASA’s satellite-based estimates of global precipitation can provide valuable information to officials monitoring the many wildfires that have been scorching Alaska this summer. Although wildfires regularly occur every Alaskan summer, July 2019 proved a particularly active month. Few rain gauges exist in the remote expanses of Alaskan wilderness, but wildfires unchecked can spread to...
    Screenshot of the IMERG Alaska wildfires visualization.
  • The Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis (ARIA) team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, created this map depicting areas that are likely damaged as a result of the recent major earthquakes in Southern California. The color variation from yellow to red indicates increasingly more significant surface change, or damage. The map covers an area of 155 by 186 miles (250 by 300...
    The map shows estimated damage from the 2019 Southern California Earthquakes, with the color variation from yellow to red indicating increasingly more significant surface change, or damage.

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

August 23, 2019

Uptick in Amazon Fire Activity in 2019
Satellites have detected an increase in fire activity early in the 2019 dry season in the southern Amazon.


August 21, 2019

Sampling the Castle Fire
Researchers are flying through wildfire smoke to learn about the molecules lingering inside its plume.


August 16, 2019

Fires in Brazil
Satellites begin to detect heightened fire activity in July and August in the Amazon.


August 14, 2019

Eerie Blooms in Lake Erie
In July 2019, a severe toxic algal bloom began spreading over the western basin of Lake Erie.


August 14, 2019

Extreme Monsoon Rains in Asia
Western India and Myanmar (Burma) suffered through dramatic flooding and landslides in early August 2019 due to concentrated monsoon rainfall.



Airborne Science
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