Southern France (before floods, false color)
Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
These Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) images show the extent of flooding along the southern reaches of the Rhone River in France. Almost constant rain has fallen over the region since early October. Then, torrential rains began on December 1, 2003, pushing the Rhone River to its highest ever recorded volume. Thousands of people fled their homes as the flood waters rose. This is the eighth time the river has flooded in the past eleven years.
The MODIS image captured by the Terra satellite on December 7 shows pools of standing water, dark blue in the false-color image and tan in the true-color image, around the Rhone River delta. The river itself is swollen compared to an image taken on October 6, 2003, before the rains started. Sediment carried by the floods is tinting the Mediterranean Sea bright blue in the false color image and murky tan and green in the true-color image.