NASA map shows hot spots during fire emergency in Colombia

NASA map shows hot spots during fire emergency in Colombia
NASA map shows hot spots during fire emergency in Colombia

On the morning of this Wednesday, January 24, the National Disaster Risk Management Unit (UNGRD) reported that there are currently 21 active fires in Colombia. According to the entity, the situation in Cundinamarca seems to be the most worrying due to the high incidence of conflagrations in the department. Not in vain, in an extraordinary council, Governor Jorge Emilio Rey decreed a public calamity.

(You can read: LIVE | Fires in Bogotá: emergency in eastern hills and other conflagrations).

“Given the inclement consequences of the El Niño phenomenon that we face in the country, and specifically in our department of Cundinamarca, one of the four territories with the highest degree of vulnerability, we have made the decision to declare a public calamity, a measure that will be carried out by all “the contractual and budgetary parameters to quickly address the negative impact of the El Niño phenomenon”expressed the Governor of Cundinamarca, who stressed that they have been affected At least 385 hectares and at least 20 municipalities have a water shortage.

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For its part, the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Ideam) provided a new report on the fire situation in the country. According to the data, with a cut-off date of January 23, there are 952 municipalities on alert for the emergency. Of them, 586 are on red alert; 245, in orange; and 121 in yellow.

Likewise, Ideam highlighted the report of heat points presented by the Fire Information System for Resource Management (FIRMS) of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States (Nasa).

Hours later, President Gustavo Petro shared a screenshot of the NASA report (released by the president at 5:28 pm).

In the image of the report, which identifies hot spots (with updates every three hours for South America), Colombia is one of the countries that appears with the most spotlights.

(We recommend: Why are there so many forest fires in Colombia and the world? These are the reasons).

NASA reports hot spots in Colombia

Analyzing the NASA report, which records data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board the Aqua and Terra satellites, and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Array (VIIRS) on board the S-NPP and NOAA 20 (formally known as JPSS-1), Ideam highlights that “since the beginning of January, a growing number of hot spots (compared to December) has been identified in the national territory, concentrated mainly in the Caribbean, Andean and Orinoco regions.”.

This report, which identifies hot spots, demonstrates in Ideam’s opinion that the situation “could represent deterioration in air quality due to aerosols from the burning of biomass.”

“Additionally, this dry condition in some regions of the country is accentuated by the southern oscillation in its warm phase (El Niño),” indicates Ideam.

(You may be interested in: Attention: these are the roads affected by the forest fires in Bogotá).

‘Fire records obtained in the field are not comparable with heat point records’

To avoid misinterpretation of information, Ideam emphasizes that the heat points identified satellitely are not comparable with fire records obtained in the field. Therefore, it provides three important keys to keep in mind:

1. The number of hot spots (hot spots) does not imply the number of fires (several hot spots can be hot spots of a single fire).

2. The number of fires is not equal to the total number of fires that occur at a time; they may simply be records of temperatures similar to those emanating from fires, but coming from other sources.

3. Not all fires that occur at a given time are recorded by satellites (sometimes the presence of clouds and topography could hide the fires).


How is the emergency progressing in the eastern hills of Bogotá?

The authorities continue to contain the emergency, which began this Monday at 70th Street, with manual tools and a water assurance system. Likewise, they are addressing the situation on the hill located at 49th Street, in the back of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.

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