Packing torrential rains and wind gusts of up to 90 miles per hour, Typhoon Toraji swept across Taiwan today (July 30, 2001) leaving a swath of death and destruction in its wake. At least 35 people were killed, and another 103 are missing, by the widespread flooding and mudslides produced by the storm. Many agricultural fields have been flooded in Taiwan, causing millions of dollars in damages to crops.
The Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) captured this view of Typhoon Toraji earlier today. In this scene, the eye of the storm appears to be located approximately over T'ainan, a town located on the southwestern coast of Taiwan. The colored speckles in the southern portion of the image are noise introduced into the satellite transmission at the receiving station, which is located in Taiwan's capital city of Taipei--right under the typhoon!
The eye of the storm had passed over Taiwan by early afternoon and was travelling north-northwest toward China at 11 miles per hour (17 km per hour). Named after a popular flower in North Korea, Toraji is the eighth and most severe typhoon to hit Taiwan this year.
Image courtesy the SeaWiFS Project,
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE