What’s that image: Earthquake and floods

Yesterday we mentioned that Google had pushed out an imagery update towards the end of April. Today we are having a look at some of the sights we have found so far.

On April 16th, 2016, Ecuador experienced an earthquake of magnitude 7.8. Google Earth has three satellite images captured the day after. All three images seem to have a bug where you cannot see the previous image in historical imagery but have to go back two dates to see prior imagery. Perdenales, Ecuador was not far from the epicentre of the earthquake and a number of buildings collapsed. The satellite imagery is not very high quality, but the devastation is visible if you look closely. To identify collapsed buildings, look for rubble in the streets rather than at the buildings, then compare with older imagery. See the fourth image in the slideshow in this story to see an aerial view.


Collapsed buildings in Perdenales, Ecuador.

Further south, in the town of Portoviejo we found a collapsed building as well as signs of minor flooding.


Collapsed building in Portoviejo, Ecuador.

The southern United States seems to have experienced a lot of flooding lately. Earlier this month we had a look at the flooding of the Mississippi River, which took place in January this year. There are now a number of images captured in mid March that show flooding in Texas and Louisiana.

The Sabine River floods Deweyville, Texas.

The Red River in flood near Coushatta, Louisiana.

The Ouachita River, Louisiana.

There are also satellite images of Austin and Houston, Texas, captured on March 12th. We are not sure if they relate to flooding and have not yet identified anything unusual in the images.

There has been further flooding in April, but there is not yet any relevant imagery.

For the locations featured in this post download this KML file. We have included in the KML some data from the USGS showing the epicentre of the quake and the area of impact.

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.

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