The storm is the most powerful to hit the island in at least 20 years. After steamrolling Palau, Bopha became a category 5 "super typhoon," meaning winds averaged over 150 miles per hour, and hit Mindanao as a category 4.
NASA's satellites captured stunning images of the storm from above.
ISS034-E-005437 (2 Dec. 2012) --- One of the Expedition 34 crew members aboard the International Space Station captured this still image of Super Typhoon Bopha on Dec. 2, 2012. The storm was bearing down on the Philippines with winds of 135 miles per hour. Meteorologists are predicting that the storm will make landfall on Mindanao in the early morning of Dec. 4 local time, as either a category 4 or 5.
This astronaut photo of Super Typhoon Bopha was taken on Sunday, Dec. 2 from the International Space Station, by Astronaut Ford as the Category 4 storm bore down on the Philippines with winds of 135 mph. Credit: NASA ISS/JSC
The MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Bopha moving through Micronesia in the western North Pacific Ocean on Nov. 28 at 0335 UTC. Notice the large "tail" or band of thunderstorms wrapping into the center from the west and south. Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
NASA's TRMM satellite captured rainfall data on Supertyphoon Bopha on Dec. 2 at 1435 UTC (9:35 a.m. EST) and showed areas of heavy rainfall (red) spanned from the northeast to the southern quadrant of the eye. Rain was falling at a rate of more than 2 inches (50 mm) per hour in the red areas. Credit: NASA/SSAI, Hal Pierce
These infrared images of Tropical Storm Bopha were taken by the AIRS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite. On Nov. 27 at 1505 UTC (left) Bopha had maximum sustained winds near 45 mph. By Nov. 28 at 0329 UTC (right) Bopha's winds increased to 65 mph. Purple indicates highest, coldest, strongest thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. Credit: NASA JPL/Ed Olsen
The MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite captured this visible image of Super Typhoon Bopha approaching the Philippines on Dec. 2, 2012 at 0145 UTC (Dec. 1 at 7:45 p.m. EST). Credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team
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