Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Satellite Images of Toxic Hungarian Spill

NASA Earth Observatory has released satellite images of the red mud spill that occurred in Hungary on the 4th of September.  The images were taken on the 9th by the Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite.

The first image is a close up of the alumina plant and nearby villages. The portion of the retaining wall that failed is clearly visible in the northwest corner of the waste reservoir.

The second images shows a wider image.  The red mud can be seen flowing westward, thinning in volume as it gets further from the plant.
A higher resolution version of this picture is available from NASA as a 4 MB JPEG.

Google has also added satellite data of the flood as a viewable KML overlay for Google Earth.  You can get the KML file here.

I've already covered aspects of the flooding in earlier posts, but as an added update, the death toll for the spill now currently stands at 8.  Rising from 7 after the body of a missing elderly woman was located.  Also, Boston.com’s Big Picture site has the normal great collection of high resolution photos of the clean-up efforts, and I will emphasize the need to check out one photo in particular that will really give you an idea of how massive this reservoir breach was.  Take a few seconds to really look at it and you'll understand what I mean.


  1. That would suck. I hate when people die. Due to...poison.

    or fruit.

  2. That's simply horrific, looking down from an aerial view adds onto how bad it really is.

  3. Crazy tragedy. How is it going to affect the Danube?

  4. wow, that looks horrible. why does it always takes images before one can really grasp the effect of such an event?

  5. Wow, I thought the Boston picture was of a little basin until I saw the tiny excavators at the bottom. Unbelievable...

  6. natural or unatural disasters are never fun

  7. Wow, that's so sad. I wish disasters like this could be prevented better. It's like a messy Chernobyl imo.


Hey everyone, feel free to comment, but be aware that this is meant to be a fun, educational blog. Comments are moderated for crude language and/or other objectionable material and will be deleted as needed.