As Los Angeles confronts coronavirus, a slower city is visible from above

As businesses and schools close in response to the coronavirus pandemic, some of Los Angeles' most visible signs of human activity are fading. Freeways are open. Skies are clear. Ports are slowed.

The air we breathe is cleaner

With less traffic and industrial activity — as well as several days of regular rainfall — Los Angeles is experiencing lower levels of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide. Composite imagery from the Sentinel-5P satellite shows the levels this March and a year ago.

Less pollution
(Lower NO2 concentration)

More pollution
(Higher NO2 concentration)

March 2019

March 2020

Traffic is lighter across the city

Traffic across normally congested Los Angeles is significantly lighter, according to an analysis by Mapbox. With most residents staying home under a statewide “safer at home” order, traffic on freeways like the 10 and 405 is moving much more quickly.

Less congestion

More congestion

Jan. 16

March 19

Fewer containers at Port of Long Beach

Satellite images taken Tuesday over the San Pedro Bay terminal show far fewer shipping containers than last month. The twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — the busiest in the U.S. — are expecting cargo volume to drop.

Satellite images ©2020 Maxar Technologies