Areas of land across New South Wales in Australia have been hit by heavy rain that has led to record flooding. Heavy rains caused dams to overflow, rivers flooded banks and thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes. Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission are used to map flooded areas to aid relief efforts.
This radar image uses information from two separate images taken by the Sentinel-1 mission on March 7 and 19, 2021, highlighting flooded areas in dark blue and urban areas in light gray. Many of these areas affected by record floods were ravaged by forest fires during the 2019 Australian bush season. Large parts of the bushes and pastures were burnt in black by the fire, and stains of burnt soil are visible in the picture.
Images obtained before and after the flood offer current information on the extent of the flood and support assessments of property and environmental damage. The radar ability of Copernicus Sentinel-1 to ‘see’ through clouds and rain and in the dark makes it particularly useful for flood monitoring.
Data from the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission was used by the Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service, activated on March 20, to map flooded areas. The service provides information for emergency interventions on various types of disasters, including meteorological hazards, geophysical hazards, intentional and accidental man-made disasters and other humanitarian disasters, as well as prevention, preparedness, response and recovery activities.