hurricane

Every once in a while, we are reminded that we live on this wonderful planet but that can sometimes display an impressive amount of destructive force. This year, from the first cyclone of the 2008 season in the northern Indian Ocean we were reminded how frail and easy to destroy are the lives of people.According to reports from Accuweather.com, Cyclone Nargis made landfall with sustained winds of 130 mph and gusts of 150-160 mph, which makes it a a strong Category 3 or minimal Category 4 hurricane. Of course, that doesn’t make it quite easy to understand the full implications; let me put it this way: several thousand people have been killed, and thousands more were missing as of May 5.

NASA’s Terra satellite made those two photos, using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) which relies on a combination of visible and infrared light to make floodwaters obvious. Water is blue or nearly black, vegetation is bright green, bare ground is tan, and clouds are white or light blue.

Another bad thing is the fact that many more regions are not prepared to handle this kind of hurricane, and with the rainy season just starting… the future doesn’t sound that great. The entire coastal plain is flooded in the May 5 image.

Enjoyed this article? Join 40,000+ subscribers to the ZME Science newsletter. Subscribe now!

Estimate my solar savings!