Floods in South America

Floods in South America

04 April 15:00 UTC and 18:00 UTC, 16 April 14:56 UTC

Floods in South America
Floods in South America

Due to reinforcing of El Niño along the western coast of South America, large areas of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru were severely affected by weeks of almost continuous rain in March and April 2017.

Last Updated

22 October 2020

Published on

04 April 2017

By Jose Prieto and Vesa Nietosvaara (EUMETSAT)

The floods caused more than 100 fatalities and hundred of thousands of people were displaced.

 GOES-16 Full disk, 4 April 18:00 UTC
Figure 1: GOES-16 Full disk, 4 April 18:00 UTC

Figure 1 is the GOES-16 ABI image showing the Piura region in northern Peru after generalised flooding caused by overflow of the Piura river in the afternoon of 4 April. Figure 2 is the GOES-16 and Sentinel-3 imagery of the same area earlier in the day.

South of the city of Piura, large coastal portions of land appeared to be covered by water and river sediments, in similar hues as ocean water, both for Sentinel-3 OLCI instrument (left image) and for the NOAA satellite GOES-16 (right image)*. The former, in polar orbit, scans the area once a day, the latter every 15 minutes.

 
 Left: OLCI RGB composite (0.68 µm, 0.51 µm and 0.40 µm channels) 4 April 15:00 UTC (morning local time) at horizontal resolution around 300 m. Right: GOES-16 natural composite (1.6 µm, 0.8 µm, 0.6 µm) for the same day and time, at a resolution of 1 km.
Figure 2: Left: OLCI RGB composite (0.68 µm, 0.51 µm and 0.40 µm channels) 4 April 15:00 UTC (morning local time) at horizontal resolution around 300 m. Right: GOES-16 natural composite (1.6 µm, 0.8 µm, 0.6 µm) for the same day and time, at a resolution of 1 km.
 
 Sentinel-3 OLCI, 16 April 14:56 UTC
Figure 3: Sentinel-3 OLCI, 16 April 14:56 UTC

By mid-April the waters had started to recede, as can be seen on the Sentinel-3 OLCI image from 16 April at 14:56 UTC (Figure 3), which shows the land around the coastal area becoming exposed again.

*Note: The GOES-16 data are preliminary, non-operational data and are undergoing on-orbit testing.

 

Related content

Satellite images of Peru floods show devastation (BBC News)
Death toll rises to 113 in Peru floods and mudslides (Strait Times)