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Tropical Storm Bolaven Snapped from Space

Tropical Storm Bolaven from space.
On Aug. 28, the MODIS instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this visible image of Tropical Storm Bolaven's clouds over North and South Korea and China. (Image credit: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team.)

Parts of East Asia are facing yet another bruising tropical cyclone this week, as Tropical Storm Bolaven slams into North Korea, South Korea and China.

The storm made landfall yesterday (Aug. 28), and satellites have been tracking its progress.

The storm had weakened slightly since the previous day; on Aug. 27, a NASA satellite saw then-typhoon Bolaven blasting the Korean peninsula with drenching rains. At one point, the storm was dropping about 3 inches (8 centimeters) of rain per hour.

Bolaven caused power outages in South Korea, and killed several people, according to various international media outlets, and, once it moved farther north, brought devastating flooding to North Korea, a country ill-prepared to face the destructive storm.

Yesterday, at 5 p.m. local time, North Korea (5 a.m. ET), the storm was packing top sustained winds near 63 mph (102 kph), and was about 132 miles (213 km) west of Seoul, South Korea. Bolaven was moving north-northeastward at 26 mph (43 kph) and generating very rough waters in the Yellow Sea, with wave heights to 34 feet (10 meters).

A NASA satellite image snapped several hours earlier showed the storm centered over the Yellow Sea. The center of Bolaven's circulation was cloud-free and appeared very large on satellite imagery.

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Andrea Mustain was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012. She holds a B.S. degree from Northwestern University and an M.S. degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia University.