Remote sensing provides a unique perspective of disasters that allows their full impact to be viewed in great detail.  It can help people manage disasters and is an effective way of understanding the impacts of a large-scale hazard such as a tsunami.  NASA’s satellites are of course some of the most valuable tools available for remote sensing, but other organisations such as the European Space Agency and China Academy of Space Technology also do high-resolution remote sensing.  Here are some images of disasters acquired by the Landsat 7, including the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the Sendai coast in Japan before and after the Tohoku tsunami.

This image shows the path of destruction left by a series of tornadoes that tore through the Upper Midwest region of the US on 7 June 2007.  The tornadoes flattened farm fields and strong winds uprooted trees sending them crashing into people’s homes.

The swelling of the Indus River, one of many other rivers to be flooded during the 2010 floods in Pakistan.

New Orleans enveloped by flood waters after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.

New Orleans is pictured in the upper left corner of Lake Pontchartrain.

And appears mostly submerged beneath the flood waters.

Finally, the coast of Sendai, Japan before and after the Tohoku Tsunami last year.

Further Reading

Satellite view of climate change impacts in the arctic. IHRR