Stunning satellite images show Thailand overwhelmed by monsoon flooding


October 19, 2019

Thailand October 2021 Annotated

20 October 2021

Recent storms have added to an already intense monsoon season.

Persistent rains in mid-October 2021 resulted in more flooding in central and northeastern Thailand, where rivers and reservoirs were already high. According to Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, 32 of the country’s 76 provinces were affected by flooding during a monsoon season that brought heavy rains for nearly a month.

End of September and beginning of October, Tropical Storm Dianmu flooded the area, causing flash floods and the Activation of the International Disaster Charter. Tropical Storm Kompasu followed, bringing more heavy rains to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

Beginning of October, historical sites in the province of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, which is home to many temples and ruins, was inundated by the Chao Phraya River. Thailand’s State Railways have also temporarily suspended some train journeys.

Heavy monsoon rains in mid-October triggered landslides and overflowed rivers and lakes. The flooding was exacerbated on October 18 when authorities had to release water from the Krasiao Reservoir, about 150 kilometers (100 miles) northwest of Bangkok. On the same day, the 1,300-year-old man Reclining buddha at Wat Dhammachakra Sema Ram, the oldest and longest such statue in the country, was also flooded.

In these false-color images of the area north of Bangkok, the water appears dark blue; saturated soil is light blue; the vegetation is light green; the bare ground is tanned; and the clouds are white or turquoise. Images were acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on ">Nasathe Terra satellite from Terra on October 20, 2021 and October 19, 2019.

Between September 27 and October 19, 2021, more than 13,600 square kilometers of the country were inundated and an estimated 1.3 million people were affected by the floods, according to the Thailand Flood Monitoring Dashboard (from the Geoinformatics and Space Technologies Development Agency).

Images from NASA’s Earth Observatory by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS / Worldview.

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