Super Typhoon Bopha made landfall in the southern Philippines at 4:45 a.m. local time on December 4, 2012 as a Category 5 Super Typhoon with sustained winds of over 161 mph (259 km/hr). According to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS), over 5.6 million people may be impacted by hurricane strength wind speeds of 120 km/hr (75 mph) or higher, and Bopha is expected to bring extreme rain to the Philippines as it batters the region.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this true-color image of the strengthening storm on December 1 at 1:05 UTC (9:05 a.m. local time) as it rotated over the Pacific Ocean. The intense typhoon sports a large and distinct eye, with tight circulation and dense, high clouds, all characteristics of a strong storm.
On Dec. 1 at 12:00 UTC (8:00 p.m. Philippine Time) the center of Typhoon Bopha was located near latitude 5.4 degrees north and longitude 140.1 degrees east. That placed Bopha's center about 270 miles southeast of Ngulu and about 315 miles south-southeast of Yap. Maximum sustained winds were up to 130 mph.
Super Typhoon Bopha is reported to be the most southerly typhoon ever recorded in the Western Pacific, and follows a similar track to last year's Tropical Storm Washi, which struck the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in mid-December, 2011. That storm killed over 1,200 people, primarily from severe floods. Super Typhoon Bopha, at a Category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, is the strongest typhoon ever recorded in Mindanao.