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Floods in the Philippines
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Floods in the Philippines

December 13, 2004
Four tropical storms in two weeks have saturated Luzon Island, the main island in the Philippines, causing devastating flooding. The Terra MODIS instrument captured this image of the island after the clouds from the most recent storm, Typhoon Nanmadol, cleared on December 4, 2004. Rivers throughout the island are swollen far beyond their normal size. The most dramatic flooding is along the Cagayan River in the north and the Pampanga River in the south, but other rivers are also swollen. Further evidence of flooding is in the color of the water. In this false color treatment, water is typically dark blue or black. In the flood image, the water is light blue—a sign that it is tinted with sediment. A light blue plume in Manila Bay is also sediment. As flood waters gush over the land, they carry mud into the rivers and the surrounding ocean. The sediment is more obvious in the true color version of the image, where Manila Bay appears to be filled with mud.