Major flooding in the Indus River Valley in Pakistan has been described by the United Nations relief teams as "...one of the worst humanitarian disasters in history..." Over 21 million people have been directly affected, 10 million left without shelter, and more than 1,800 killed by flooding caused by historic monsoon rains. The flooding inundated over a million acres.
Cities in the Sindh Province, including Sukkar, Mehar, and Dadu, were largely devastated as the Indus River overflowed its banks before emptying into the Arabian Sea. A 12-scene mosaic of Landsat 5 satellite images acquired by the U.S. Geological Survey in spring and summer 2010 shows the region before flooding. The green tones indicate healthy vegetation, including vital food producing crops in the river basin.
The August 12, 19, and 21, 2010, image mosaic shows the area during major flooding. While much of the river basin remains "green," saturated fields are largely destroyed and the Indus River and feeder streams greatly enlarged.
National and International agencies use individual Landsat scenes, complemented by other information, to study affected areas and to plan relief missions to the most affected areas. The 12-scene mosaics offer broader perspectives on the extent of the flooding.