Last update: November 14th, 2019 at 6:00 am
Typhoon Fitow brought heavy rain to Japan when it made landfall on September 6, 2007. Two days later, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured the top image, rivers around Tokyo were still swollen. Under normal circumstances, such as existed on August 26 when the lower image was taken, the rivers that flow southeast through Tokyo are not visible in MODIS imagery. On September 8, however, the rivers were wide enough to trace a pattern of blue lines across the landscape.
Though water is normally black in this type of satellite image, which uses both infrared and visible light, the rivers are blue because of the sediment-rich runoff that fills them. The surrounding plant-covered landscape is green, and urban areas are gray. Clouds, light blue and white, dot the scene. According to Bloomberg News, storm-induced floods washed out roads and bridges and damaged or destroyed about 200 buildings in Japan.
Credit: NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.