Here are some spectacular photos of typhoon Maysak, taken by Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut on board of International Space Station on March 31, 2015. Spectacular and terrifying since it already took the lives of five in Micronesia.
Formed within a low-pressure area near the Marshall Islands on March 23, it started moving northwestward becoming bigger and more dangerous with every day. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in the Pacific Ocean and the Japan Meteorological Agency soon classified it as a tropical storm and named it Maysak. By the end of the month Maysak was upgraded to a severe tropical storm (75 mph / 120 km/h) then typhoon (145 mph / 230 km/h) with a clear eye formed and good radial outflow developed. By March 31, Maysak further intensified into a Category 5-equivalent super typhoon with incredible speeds of 160 mph (260 km/h), the most intense typhoon ever recorded in a March since data recordings back in 1940s. The nearly symmetric eye with an almost perfect ring of convection around it widened to even 31 miles (50 km) for a short period of time but wind speed fortunately lowered to 150 mph (240 km/h) while heading to Phillipines.
By the time it hit Micronesia on March 29 it was only a Category 1-equivalent typhoon at 75 mph (120 km/h) but its effects were devastating, putting down numerous trees, power lines and roofs. Almost 90% of homes in the Chuuk State in the Federated States of Micronesia suffered damages, including homes blown off their foundation. Add six vessels sunk, the undrinkable sources of waters and the five lives takes and you have a complete picture of the damages in Micronesia.
Credit photos: Samantha Cristoforetti / ESA/NASA