After wreaking havoc in Saipan earlier this week, the year’s most powerful storm is barreling its way across the Pacific, and is expected to hit Taiwan, China and southern Japan at the weekend if it maintains its current course.
Soudelor was downgraded from its super typhoon status Wednesday, after winds peaked 180mph and gusts to 220mph Monday. The storm is expected to weaken further before it hits Taiwan at the weekend, but will still pack the power of a Category 3 or 4 hurricane.
The Weather Channel reports: “Super Typhoon Soudelor underwent rapid intensification Monday and became the strongest tropical cyclone on Earth so far in 2015.”
CNN Philippines reported Wednesday that the super typhoon had entered Philippine territory, becoming locally known as Hanna, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Images and videos circulating on social media show the sheer size and strength of the storm:
— Eric Blake (@EricBlake12) August 4, 2015
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) August 3, 2015
— Dan Lindsey (@DanLindsey77) August 4, 2015
Here is an Instagram gallery of the damage caused by the typhoon in Saipan: