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Furious Typhoon Vicente Snapped from Space
Typhoon Vicente, photographed on July 23, 2012.
Credit: NASA.

A massive typhoon is now hammering Hong Kong, and a recent satellite image of the storm showcases its monstrous reach.

Typhoon Vicente began its life as a tropical depression over the western Pacific Ocean and quickly gained strength, developing into a powerful typhoon — a different name for the same phenomenon as a hurricane — on Monday (July 23).

The storm prompted Hong Kong to issue its most severe storm warning, known as a signal No. 10, something that has happened just over a dozen times since 1946. The last time it occurred was in 1999.

At one point, the storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 138 mph (220 kph) with gusts up to 168 mph (270 kph), the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane, defined as a storm that will cause catastrophic damage.

A satellite snapped the colossal storm on Monday as its swirling clouds hung over the Chinese territory, and as its center continued landward.

Hong Kong's most recent public advisory, issued at 3:35 a.m. local time, downgraded the warning to a signal No. 8, a category that is still severe. The storm has already pounded the city with torrential rains, and its center is forecast to reach the city by around 8 a.m. local time Tuesday morning.

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