Latest Events

June 6, 2017
Aerial photograph of wildfires in South Africa from June 7, 2017.
Aerial photograph of wildfires in South Africa from June 7, 2017. Credit: SA Red Cross Air Mercy Services  The Knysna Wildfire began the evening of June 6, 2017 and by June 7, consisted of 26 fires. These fires were fanned towards residential areas by strong winds from a cyclone to the west. The towns of Belvidere, Breonton-on-Sea, and Rheenendal were evacuated after news that a family of three passed away in the fire on June 6. The smoke observed by MISR on June 7 was injected...


May 24, 2017
SNPP/VIIRS Automatic flood detection may in Uruguay from May 27 - June 10 2017
On May 24, 2017, a series of extreme rainfall events began impacting the west and northwest regions or Uruguay. These rains caused severe flooding in the Departments of Salto, Paysandú and Artigas. By June 10th more than 6,300 people were displaced and relocated by the Uruguay’s Sistema Nacional de Emergencias (SINAE). On June 6th, the Uruguayan Government activated the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. The NASA Disasters Program responded to this call...


May 6, 2017
MODIS true-color image of floods in Quebec from May 8, 2017.
MODIS true-color image of floods in Quebec from May 8, 2017. The City of Montreal was hit by heavy flooding on 6 May, due to torrential rains and melting snow following the rise in temperature.  A state of emergency was announced and 1,900 homes have been flooded across 126 towns and cities in the east of Canada, across the province of Quebec. It has been confirmed by the local authorities that this safety measure will remain in place for about 48 hours. Furthermore, this flooding not only...


April 29, 2017
MODIS image of flooding in Missouri.
Between April 29 and May 1, 2017, a vigorous weather system delivered intense rain, heavy snow, and tornadoes across the central and southern United States. In many areas, rainfall totals surpassed 9 inches (23 centimeters), a deluge that led to dangerous flash floods and rivers cresting at record and near-record heights. According to stream gauge data published by the National Weather Service, the Black River at Pocahontas, Arkansas, rose to nearly 29 feet (9 meters) on Tuesday, a record. The ...


April 6, 2017
Flooded town in New Zealand.
Credit: Higgins Storm Chasing The NASA Disasters Program is assisting New Zealand authorities to respond to flooding resulting from Tropical Cyclones Debbie and Cook. On April 6, 2017, New Zealand declared a state of local emergency for the Whakatane region as a result of rains from Debbie. The region was expanded on April 11, 2017 to include the greater East Bay of Plenty region as impending rains from Cook will further...


April 1, 2017
Aqua true-color image overlaid with active-fire detections, shown in red, take from MODIS (onboard Terra and Aqua) and VIIRS (onboard Suomi-NPP), showing smoke streaming from wildfires in Guatemala on April 1st 2017.
Fires started to burn in early March in the protected regions of Sierra del Lacandón National Park (also Laguna del Tigre), which is located in the tropical rain forest in the north west of Guatemala.  By mid-march, foliage became visibly dry and unhealthy throughout the parks, and the fires continued to increase in size and intensity.  Precipitation was well below normal, reaching approximately 110 mm less than the 2003-2016 average. Temperatures soared to 40oC (104oF) in some regions, setting the sustained conditions necessary for extreme fire. ...


March 31, 2017
Rescue workers at the Mocoa, Columbia mudslide.
Rescue workers at the Mocoa, Columbia mudslide. Image Credit: Torrential rains on the night of Friday March 31st, 2017, caused three rivers surrounding the southern Colombian city of Mocoa to overflow, sending a torrent of mud and debris surging through the city. At least 254 people were killed. A further 203 people were injured, many severely. This area is...


March 29, 2017
Flood extent map from the 2017 floods in Argentina.
The NASA Disasters Program is assisting Argentinian authorities to respond to torrential rains and flooding in southern Argentina.  The rains began at the end of March and have caused the Dulce and Chico Rivers to overflow, affecting cities in that area.  The City of Comodoro Rivadavia has been particularly hard hit, with estimates that up to 80% of the City has been destroyed by the floods and mudslides after the City received more than a year of rain in less than a week.  The NASA Disasters Program will furnish stream flow and inundation predictions and flood maps generated...


March 26, 2017
An inundation map of Piura province produced using the Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS) on 3/26/17.
On-going rain over Peru has resulted in widespread flooding and impacted hundreds of thousands of lives, primarily in Peru's northwest. The NASA Disaster Program is working with partners in Peru to predict the impact of on-going precipitation on river systems as well as using space-based radar to map flooding and destruction of property. 


March 24, 2017
An inundation map of the region near Proserpine, Australia, produced using the Global Flood Monitoring System (GFMS) on 3/28/17.
On March 28, Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall in Australia with gusts reaching over 160 MPH.  To prepare for what had been predicted to be the worst storm hitting Queensland since 2011, over 25,000 were urged to evauate. The wind damage, storm surge, and heavy rain that result from tropical cyclones can cause damage to property and affect lives. The NASA Disasters Program is working assess these effects in order to support the Australian response effort.