Before & After Satellite Images of Sendai – Japan Tsunami

sendai japan before tsunami | NASA Modis Rapid Response
Before - February 26, 2011 - "NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response."
sendai japan after tsunami | NASA Modis Rapid Response
After - March 12, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. - "NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response."

The NASA Earth Observatory just released these two satellite images showing the view from space of the Japanese coastline around the city of Sendai. This, as I am sure you know, is the region that was hit on Friday by an offshore earthquake and subsequent tsunami. View some of the scenes which resulted here.

It is quite clear from these images the extent of the movement of water inland as a result of the tsunami. The ‘before’ image (click here for HighRes) clearly shows a clear, well defined coastline whereas the ‘after’ image (click here for HighRes) is less than clear and appears to have been inundated approximately 5km, according to the key provided on the images.

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory:

Water is black or dark blue in these images. It is difficult to see the coastline in the March 12 image, but a thin green line outlines the shore. This green line is higher-elevation land that is above water, presumably preventing the flood of water from returning to the sea. The flood indicator on the lower image illustrates how far inland the flood extends.

Both images were made with infrared and visible light, a combination that increases the contrast between muddy water and land. Plant-covered land is green, while snow-covered land is pale blue. Clouds are white and pale blue. The paved surfaces in the city of Sendai colors it brown.”

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One Comment

  1. Regarding the analysis by NASA;
    An officer from The Japan Meteorological Agency says on the TV news in Japan that the land of these area has been sunk around 70cm at most. If so, seawater should be there because of the gravity, not by the walls that has been built just behind the coastline. But there are some observation that some of the walls were already collapsed.
    This alternative analysis is supported by the observation of through Global Positioning System, according to the TV news.

    Just for your reference,

    Tachibana Masahiko

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