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20 December 2011

Floods from Tropical Storm Washi

(Click on images for larger view.)

Tropical Storm Washi (known locally as Sendong) inundated the southern Philippines island of Mindanao with heavy rain on December 16-17, 2011. Flooded rivers gushed into coastal communities from the interior, destroying 10,345 houses as of December 20, local time. The floods killed 957 people and injured 1,582, affecting nearly 340,000. The cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan received the most damage.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired the top image on December 19, 2011. The rivers that run through both cities are swollen and brown with run-off compared to an image taken by the MODIS instrument on the Terra satellite just days earlier. Additional indications of flooding are the plumes of sediment that flow into the ocean from the mud- and debris-choked rivers.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. (2011, December 20, 6:00 a.m. local time). Sitrep No. 11 re: Effects of Tropical Storm “SENDONG” (Washi). Republic of the Philippines. Accessed December 19, 2011.
Philippine Red Cross. (2011, December 19). Emergency alert: Tropical Storm Sendong. Accessed December 19, 2011.
NASA images courtesy LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.