A village submerged


This is the Sesan river in Cambodia — before and after the Lower Sesan 2 Dam closed its floodgates in September 2017. The hydroelectric dam is part of Cambodia's push for greater access to electricity. In 2010, 16.6 percent of Cambodians had access to electricity. In 2016, access rose to 49.7 percent. By 2020, the Cambodian government wants all villages to have access to electrical supply. These dams cause flooding with both human and environmental costs. Since September, water levels along the Sesan have been rising, and this planned flooding submerged the village of Srekor, boxed in the image above.  


The blue in this image is water, about seven meters deep. The colored dots are homes, schools and pagodas, now largely submerged. We already know satellite images can help provide high-level overviews, but new, higher-resolution images give us a more intimate understanding of the extent and impact of flooding in Srekor.

Caroline Binley