Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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September 23, 2022
Power Outages in Puerto Rico


After being struck by fierce winds, torrential rainfall, and widespread flooding from Hurricane Fiona, citizens of Puerto Rico were enduring significant power outages in mid-September 2022. Extreme heat and troubles with water supplies added to the miseries for the people, while federal and local agencies worked to bring relief.

The blackouts came almost exactly five years after Hurricane Maria decimated the island, and six years after a power plant fire took down much of the grid.

These images focusing on the city of Ponce were created by scientists from the Black Marble Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Science Systems and Applications, Inc., the University of Maryland College Park, and the Leidos Civil Group. The images show nighttime light emissions before and after Fiona passed through the city. The team processed and analyzed VIIRS data, comparing a pre-storm composite (August) to conditions after the hurricane. These data were then overlaid on a base map of landcover data collected by Landsat 9.

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, using Black Marble data courtesy of Ranjay Shrestha/NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, VIIRS day-night band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership, and Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

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