Google Earth Imagery Update: Mudslides in Argentina and Oroville Dam update

Mudslides in Argentina
In January, 2017, heavy rains in the northern Argentine province of Jujuy resulted in several mudslides that killed two women and injured at least five other people. Google has recently added some imagery captured soon after the event. As of this writing, the fresh imagery is only available in the default layer and has not yet been pushed to ‘historical imagery’.

Worst affected was the town of Volcán. Luckily the main mudslide seems to have been just to the north, largely missing the town. In April we saw a similar mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia, but it was not so lucky.


Before and after of the mudslide at Volcán, Argentina.

Slightly further north, the town of Tumbaya was also affected. There is less mud in this instance, but it is clear that a large amount of water came down along the southern edge of the town.


Before and after of the mudslide at Tumbaya, Argentina.

The floods also damaged the local highway, which affected the Dakar road race that had been scheduled to pass through the area. See the KML at the end of the post for locations.

Oroville Dam
In February, we had a look at the Oroville Dam in California. Google has added a new black & white image showing the damage to its primary and emergency spillways.

The image also shows us some flooding downstream of the dam:

Also of note is some imagery of Caracas, Venezuela, captured in April, 2017, which was captured by DigitalGlobe. It relates to ongoing protests in that country. However, despite there being nearly daily protests in Caracas and around the country, we were unable to find any evidence of them in the image.

To find the locations above in Google Earth, download this KML file.

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.


  1. ben reuter says:

    As long as they continue to change Digital Globe for CNES/Airbus you can forget updates. Usually you are loosing 0.5m in exchange for 1m. Moreover more blurry. Obviously cheaper for them…..

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