New Lakes In Mozambique, Africa

September 22, 2000


Provided by: NASA/GSFC
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster

Large areas of Mozambique, which were inundated by flood waters last February and March by cyclones, still remain submerged. These new lakes not only prevent crops from being planted but are filled with pollutants and have become a prime breeding area for mosquitoes - increasing the risk of water-bourne diseases. On this Landsat image, the new lakes are blue, cumulus clouds are purple/white, cumulonimbus clouds are light blue, dry land is green, and the Indian Ocean is black.

The flooding caused thousands of deaths, and nearly 3/4 of a million people were left homeless. Starvation and diseases such as cholera and malaria are claiming thousands of lives in the aftermath of the terrible flooding. Additionally, roads, livestock, crops and entire villages were washed away. An area the size of New Jersey and Massachusetts combined was under water last March, as seen on the above image, which is approximately 100 km across. Mozambique is about 15% larger than the state of Texas. Some of the flood waters have evaporated, but in several river valleys, the flood waters now persist in the form of large, shallow lakes. If all of this isn't bad enough, the flooding exposed land mines left over from the last military coup.

Related Links: