Floods in Mozambique and Malawi
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
Early in the new year, heavy rains across southeastern Africa led to flooding throughout Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique that displaced thousands of people and destroyed hundreds of acres of invaluable crops. These true- and false-color images of flooding in Zambia were acquired in January 2003, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite. The true-color image from Jan. 10 is centered on Zambia, and the floods looks like bruises on the land just below Lake Bengwuelu, southwest of center. Farther east in Malawi and Mozambique (in the image from Jan. 14, Mozambique dominates the right side of the image, and Malawi dips down from image top center) flooding has driven over 30,000 people from their homes and killed seven people. The fallout from the floods, however, may be worse than the floods themselves. A food shortage currently exists in southeastern Africa, and the floods have now destroyed valuable cropland along the rivers and lakes. In the false-color images, land is green, water is black and dark blue, and clouds are light blue and white.