China: Lake Formation in the Aftermath of Magnitude 7.9 Earthquake
Acquired on May 14, 2006, the top image shows the region under normal springtime conditions. Two tiny villages flank the river, the man-made surfaces regularly shaped and bright. The towns are connected by light-colored roads, which line the river on both sides and merge at a bridge where the river narrows on the right.
On May 15, 2008, three days after the initial earthquake, both the bridge and the roads it connected had disappeared under murky water. Some sections of the villages remained above the waterline, as did portions of the roads leading to the villages. The tops of trees, perhaps on slightly higher ground, formed tiny islands near the shores of the growing lake.
Formosat-2 took the final image on May 19, 2008. By this
time, water levels in the earthquake lake had risen enough to immerse both
villages and the entire road network. Tan debris floats on the surface
of the water, concentrated over the locations of the villages.
Note: Map creation date estimated