Flooding in Japan 2018

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Detailed Description

Torrential rainfall swamped western Japan in July of 2018, causing mudslides that flooded roads, damaged buildings and infrastructure and led to the deaths of more than 100 people, with many more missing.

These Landsat 8 images highlight the flow of mud from the coastal cities of Fukuyama and Kurashiki in the hours after the rains ceased.

The sheer volume of sediment stripped from the land by the heavy rain becomes apparent when comparing May 22 to July 9.

In the first image, the waters of the Ashida and Takahasi Rivers appear light tan and gray as they flow into the Bingonada and Hiuchi-nada Seas.

The second image presents each river as a thick, tan-colored snake of muddy water, sending a swirl of sediment into the sea.

The near-natural color images were created using bands 4, 3 and 1 on Landsat 8’s Operational Land Imager. Band one is particularly sensitive to suspended sediment in water.

Landsat imagery, archived and freely available through the U.S. Geological Survey’s Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, can be used to monitor and study natural hazards worldwide.

EROS is a partner to the International Disasters Charter, a collaborative organization that provides satellite imagery to organizations responding to natural or man-made disasters. The Charter was activated in response to the recent flooding and mudslides in Japan.