Gulf of Batabano and Hurricane Michelle

November 26, 2001


Provided by: NASA/GSFC, ORBIMAGE, SeaWiFS Project
Summary authors & editors: Martin Ruzek

On November 4, Hurricane Michelle struck the island nation of Cuba with the worst storm of the past 50 years, killing at least 5 people, damaging thousands of homes and destroying crops. The eye passed east of Havana, largely sparing the capital and its 2 million inhabitants. The composite image above, using data acquired by the SeaWiFS satellite sensor and coregistered by Norman Kuring of NASA GSFC, shows a time sequence of Golfo de Batabano and Isla de la Juventud on the southwest side of the Cuban mainland. Legend has it that Juventud is "Parrot Island," the inspiration for the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island. The emerald green waters of the shallow gulf became turbid following the storm’s passage, filled with suspended sediment agitated by the storm’s 130 mph winds and torrential rains. By November 9, the sediment plume was being carried well past the barrier archipelago toward the southwest. Each frame above is approximately 500 km in width.

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