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NASA shares satellite images of 100-km-long ship traffic jam in Suez Canal

Aerial photos of the congestion by the ship named ‘Ever Given’ in Suez Canal, have already been shared widely on social media. Now, a satellite photo by NASA gives people on the internet an idea about how big the congestion it was.

NASA took to social media to share a collage of three photos on Tuesday.  The photo on the left shows typical ship traffic in the Gulf of Suez on February 1, 2021. But the next two photos, taken in March, show how the line of waiting ships kept getting longer and eventually stretched 100 kilometres.

SUEZ nasa

The series of night-time images were all acquired with the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite, according to a NASA Earth Facebook post.

“The VIIRS “day-night band” detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to enhance dim signals such as moonlight, gas flares, and the lights on ships,” reads the post

“The left image shows typical ship traffic in the Gulf of Suez on February 1, 2021. By March 27, the line of waiting ships stretched 72 kilometers (45 miles). Two days later, ships waited as far as 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the canal entry. According to Leth Agencies, 184 vessels were still waiting to get through on March 30,” it adds.

The giant container ship that blocked the Suez Canal for almost a week was fully floated on Monday and traffic in the waterway would resume, the canal authority said in a statement.


Ship-tracking service VesselFinder has changed the ship’s status to under way on its website.

Now, ships have started moving again in the Suez Canal. But due to the halt that lasted for a week, there is a massive accumulation of hundreds of vessels, which has lead to traffic jams.

The 400-metre (430-yard) long Ever Given became jammed diagonally across a southern section of the canal in high winds early on Tuesday, halting shipping traffic on the shortest shipping route between Europe and Asia.

According to officials, the ship got stuck due to high winds and a huge dust storm. A report also revealed that the vessel was travelling nearly 5 knots faster than the permitted speed limit in the Canal.

On Tuesday, the Suez Canal Authority confirmed that the ship was freed with the help of Dutch firm Boskalis.

Just after the 1,300-feet-long ship was dislodged, tug boats honked their honks in celebration and hundreds of other ships were seen lined up and waiting to pass through the canal.



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