May 2009 Estimation of Areas of Inundation in Torrential Rains in the Northern Part of Brazil

The northern part of Brazil was hit by the heaviest torrential rains on record in the past 20 years, and rivers, large and small, overflowed. Approximately 40 people lost their lives, while a maximum of approximately 300,000 people were forced to evacuate.
The rains continued to fall for more than two weeks, and in its wake, caused damage to 11 out of 26 states, over a massive expanse measuring more than 2,000 km from east to west and more than 1,500 km from north to south.

Imaging Using TerraSAR-X (Synthetic Aperture Radar)

Based on images acquired by “TerraSAR-X” on May 9, 2009, PASCO attempted to estimate the volume of water around the vicinity of the Parnaíba River, which flows through the border of the states of Maranhão and Piauí. These states had incurred the heaviest damage as a result of these floods.
According to weather reports on the day of data acquisition, cloud cover was heavy, and there was a possibility of continuous rains. However, imaging was carried out successfully.

This map shows our attempt to estimate the volume of water based on data from the acquisition by "TerraSAR-X" at 08:32 (UTC) on May 9, 2009.
In this analysis, we have only attempted to extract the water image only in the form of single acquisition, using the characteristic of the weak backscattering intensity of the microwaves on the water surface.


Imaging Specifications

Acquisition dates and times : May 9, 2009 (UTC)
Imaging mode : ScanSAR
Angle of incidence : 41.94°
Acquisition orbit : Descending orbit
Polarized wave : Single polarization (HH)
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History of Information Released

First release date : May 19, 2009 (Tuesday)

From the perspective of understanding the damage situation caused by the disaster, and of providing information to the relevant organizations, PASCO carried out estimations for the areas of damage immediately utilizing SAR satellite images, which are not impacted by weather conditions.


We express our deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by the disaster.
We will strive even harder to be of service to all through the application of our spatial information processing and analysis technologies, as well as through our disaster prevention consulting expertise, in order to obtain accurate information on the disaster situation and assist in the recovery of the affected areas.


< TerraSAR-X : InfoterraGmbH, Distribution [PASCO] >
*The reuse or copying of images and other information available here without prior permission is strictly prohibited.

[ Copyright ]

The copyright for the documents recorded in the disaster and emergency photos of this page belongs to PASCO CORPORATION.
In addition, the copyright for the use of TerraSAR-X in this page is also the property of PASCO CORPORATION.
Please contact us for permission to distribute or copy the information (documents and images) recorded in this page.

[ Disclaimer ]

PASCO CORPORATION strived to make the information in this page as accurate as possible at the time of publication; however PASCO CORPORATION does not guarantee integrity or accuracy of the information recorded in this page. PASCO CORPORATION accepts no liability for any loss or damage directly or indirectly, arising from the use of this information or contents. In case the information provided in this page is evidently different from the actual, in order to correct it please contact us.

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