In early November 2007, several weeks of heavy rainfall caused devastating flooding in the Mexican federal states of Tabasco and Chiapas. About one million people lost their homes, including about half of the entire population of Tabasco. At times, almost 80% of the federal state of Tabasco (with a total surface area of approx. 25 000 square kilometres) lay under water, with the region around the town of Villahermosa (population of about 600 000) being the worst affected.
The DLR Centre for Satellite-Assisted Crisis Information (Zentrum für satellitengestützte Kriseninformation; ZKI) supported the Mexican National Centre for the Prevention of Disasters (CENAPRED) by providing satellite imaging maps of the flood areas.
For this picture, two images of the same area surrounding the town of Villahermosa were superimposed – the first image being taken on 8 November 2007 at the time of the flood, with the second being taken on 2 December, after the situation in the crisis region had returned to normal.
This technology depicts the differences – that is, the areas worst affected by flooding – in blue, enabling these areas to be seen clearly on the image. The urban area of Villahermosa is at the top left of this picture, and is displayed in bright shades of pink.