Satellite images of super-typhoon Sanba over Japan and South Korea


Sanba was most powerful typhoon of the season so far. It slammed the Japanese island of Okinawa early Sunday morning, September 16, 2012 with damaging winds reaching equivalent of Category 3 hurricane strength. Heavy torrential rains with rainfall rates well exceeding an inch an hour came from multiple points on the island. The massive amounts of rainfall, combined with impacts of storm surge and the rough surf, led to some flooding. When it struck Japan, Sanba boasted winds of up to 127 mph (205 kph) and left thousands without power and canceling hundreds of flights. At its strongest, Sanba was a super typhoon with winds equivalent to those in a Category 5 hurricane.

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When Sanba made landfall in South Korea on September 17, 2012, it brought heavy rains and high winds, downed power lines, grounded hundreds of flights, and halted ferry services. One person was killed and another person was injured in landslides caused by the storm.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on September 17, 2012 when Sanba’s clouds engulfed the Korean Peninsula. The same day, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported that the storm’s sustained wind speeds had dropped to 45 knots (85 kilometers per hour). The JTWC projected storm track showed Sanba continuing to move toward the north-northeast, along the China-Russia border.

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