ZKI maps flooding in Mexico with high-resolution radar satellite TerraSAR-X
In early November 2007, heavy rainfalls lasting for a whole week led to devastating floods in the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, displacing about one million people, which is approximately half of Tabasco's overall population. About 80% of the state of Tabasco's surface (overall area: 25,000 km²) has been temporarily flooded. The region around the city of Villahermosa with its population of approximately 600.000 was hit most by the floods.
The Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) of DLR supports the Mexican civil protection (CENAPRED) with satellite image maps of the floods. The DLR radar satellite TerraSAR-X, which was launched in June 2007 and was still in its commissioning phase, proved to be highly suitable for the assessment of flood events again. Independently from cloud cover or daytime, TerraSAR-X was able to deliver high resolution imagery with a resolution of up to one meter. In this case, the data aquisition could be accelerated significantly by using TerraSAR-X's unique left looking recording ability.