Southern Afghanistan (before floods)

In mid-April 2003, heavy rains in Afghanistan led to floods that killed 30 people and displaced hundreds. The floodwaters can be seen in this false-color image acquired on April 22, 2003, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASAs Aqua satellite. The most devastating floods occurred in southern Afghanistan in the Helmand province along the Helmand River. Earlier in the month (April 4, 2003), there was much less standing water in southern Afghanistan. And the Helmand River, which can be seen winding its way up from the bottom of April 22 image, is hardly visible on April 4. In this false-color image, water is blue. Clouds appear as pale blue and white, vegetated land is green and arid land is tan.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Dust storm in Afghanistan

Tens of thousands of people have been suffering through months of devastating sandstorms in the Sistan Basin region the Middle East. Once an oasis surrounded by thousands of kilometers of desert, the Sistan Basins Hamoun Wetlands have all but disappeared, leaving the marshs light sediment to dry up and blow away in the winds. The Hamoun Wetlands straddled the border between Iran and Afghanistan, and were a major source of food and shelter for the people of Central Asia. But persistent drought conditions and increased irrigation and human mismanagement of the Helmand River have quickly turned these wetlands into arid saltpans. The frequent strong winds blowing through the region easily scoop up the dried silt and carry it aloft for hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. Such dust storms appear to be increasing in frequency and severity as residents in southern Afghanistan report that, during the last several years, the skies overhead have been the dustiest in living memory. This is a true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer ( MODIS ) image from the Terra satellite on August 8, 2004. Iran is on the left side of the image, while Afghanistan sits at the top and Pakistan at the bottom.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Dust Storm in Afghanistan

Sandstorms that have been scouring southwestern Afghanistan since June 5 are being called the worst in living memory by residents of the area. The dust and sand have buried villages, filled waterways, destroyed crops and killed livestock. The storms are predicted to persist until the end of August, creating a huge environmental disaster for more than 10,000 people in the affected region. This image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite on July 24, 2003, shows pale swaths of dust spreading over the rugged, arid terrain of southern Afghanistan (top) and western Pakistan (bottom).
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Southern Afghanistan (before floods)

In mid-April 2003, heavy rains in Afghanistan led to floods that killed 30 people and displaced hundreds. The floodwaters can be seen in this false-color image acquired on April 22, 2003, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASAs Aqua satellite. The most devastating floods occurred in southern Afghanistan in the Helmand province along the Helmand River. Earlier in the month (April 4, 2003), there was much less standing water in southern Afghanistan. And the Helmand River, which can be seen winding its way up from the bottom of April 22 image, is hardly visible on April 4. In this false-color image, water is blue. Clouds appear as pale blue and white, vegetated land is green and arid land is tan.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Floods in southern Afghanistan

In mid-April 2003, heavy rains in Afghanistan led to floods that killed 30 people and displaced hundreds. The floodwaters can be seen in this false-color image acquired on April 22, 2003, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASAs Aqua satellite. The most devastating floods occurred in southern Afghanistan in the Helmand province along the Helmand River. Earlier in the month (April 4, 2003), there was much less standing water in southern Afghanistan. And the Helmand River, which can be seen winding its way up from the bottom of April 22 image, is hardly visible on April 4. In this false-color image, water is blue. Clouds appear as pale blue and white, vegetated land is green and arid land is tan.
Source: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Dust storm in Afghanistan

On August 17, 2004, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), aboard NASAs Terra satellite, observed a large plume of dust blowing out of the Sistan Basin and fanning out over a large portion of southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. Once a lush oasis spanning more than 2,000 square kilometers (800 square miles), the Hamoun Wetlands were a major source of food and shelter for the people of Central Asia. Within the last decade, however, human mismanagement of the rivers feeding the once fertile wetlands has converted them mostly into salt flats—desiccated and almost devoid of life. The light sediment that once rested on the bottom of the Hamouns marshes now lies exposed to sun and wind. The frequent strong winds blowing through the region easily scoop up the dried silt and carry it aloft for hundreds or even thousands of kilometers. Such dust storms appear to be increasing in frequency and severity as residents in southern Afghanistan report that, during the last several years, the skies overhead have been the dustiest in living memory. The solid black line in this scene shows the border between the countries of Iran (to the left), Afghanistan (top), and Pakistan (bottom right). North in this image is toward the top.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Dust storm in Afghanistan

Sandstorms that have been scouring southwestern Afghanistan since early June 2003 are being called the worst in living memory by residents of the area. The dust and sand have buried villages, filled waterways, destroyed crops and killed livestock. The storms are persisting longer than expected, creating a huge environmental problem for the residents of this region. Most of the windblown dust appears to be originating in the Sistan Basin, which is home to the Hamoun Wetlands straddling the border between Iran and Afghanistan. Persistent drought conditions there, coupled with increased irrigation off the Helmand River, have quickly turned these wetlands into arid salt pans. This true-color Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image was captured by NASAs Aqua satellite on September 15, 2003.
Source: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

Earthquake Hits Hindu Kush, Afghanistan March 25, 2002

On March 25, 2002, a series of earthquakes of magnitude up to 6.1 destroyed several towns in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. This mountainous area is frequently struck by earthquakes, with roughly five quakes with a magnitude of 5.0 or greater occuring each year. The Hindu Kush is near the margin of the colliding Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates. This collision causes the frequent earthquakes, and also shaped the rugged terrain and high mountains. The quakes relatively shallow depth of 33 km below the Earths surface contributed to the severe damage in local towns. A nearby earthquake on March 3, 2002, with a larger magnitude of 7.4 caused much less damage, in part because it occurred at a depth of 256 km. This image from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), flying aboard NASAs Terra satellite, shows the region where the quakes occurred—to the left of center in this scene. The false-color image was acquired on October 2, 2000, and is a combination of near-infrared, red, and green wavelengths.
Source: Image by Robert simmon, based on data from NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team