Flooding in Northern India

Flooding in Northern India

Flooding struck multiple rivers in the Indian state of Bihar in October 2011. On October 1, India’s Daily News and Analysis reported nearly 100 people had died following heavy rains in river catchment areas in Bihar and Nepal.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured these images of the Ganges (or Ganga) River between Patna and Bhagalpur; as well as the Ghugri River, a Ganga tributary. The top image is from October 8, 2011, and the bottom is from October 10, 2010. Both images use a combination of infrared and visible light to increase contrast between water and land. Water ranges from electric blue to navy. Vegetation is green. Bare ground is earth-toned. Clouds are pale blue-green.

In 2011, large areas of standing water fill floodplains south of the Ganges. The largest area of standing water appears near Mokama, but it is also evident west of the Ghugri River. Despite the higher water levels relative to the previous year, water in this area looks lower than it did in August 2011.

Daily News and Analysis reported that flooding in Bihar had submerged villages and washed out roads by October 1. The Ganges was flowing above its danger mark in some locations.

  1. References

  2. Brackenridge, G.R. (2011, October 9). The Flood Observatory. University of Colorado-Boulder. Accessed October 10, 2011.
  3. Press Trust of India. (2011, October 1). Bihar flood toll rises to 98, situation worsens in 3 districts. Daily News and Analysis. Accessed October 10, 2011.

Images & Animations


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  • Data Date:

    October 8, 2011
  • Visualization Date:

    October 10, 2011
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS


NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration