Bopha over the South China Sea

Bopha over the South China Sea

Bopha weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm after passing over the southern Philippines in early December 2012. On December 6, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Bopha had maximum sustained winds of 55 knots (100 kilometers per hour) and gusts up to 70 knots (130 kilometers per hour).

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color image on December 6, 2012, when Bopha was situated over the South China Sea. Although the storm retained the apostrophe shape characteristic of strong storms, it lacked a distinct eye.

Bopha reached the South China Sea after passing over the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. It was the worst typhoon to strike the Philippines in 2012. As of December 7 (Philippines Time Zone), the storm had left nearly 200,000 people homeless, 380 people missing, and more than 300 people dead, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The Guardian reported a death toll of 379, adding that the typhoon had ”washed away emergency shelters, a military camp, and entire families.”

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michon Scott.

References & Resources