Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) tracked Typhoon Sudal as it moved across the Pacific Ocean in April 2004. Sudal started as a tropical depression on April 4, and grew into a typhoon by April 6, with winds reaching up to 81 miles per hour. At its height on April 11 and 12, Sudal was packing sustained winds of 132 miles per hour with gusts to 146 miles per hour.
On April 12, the storm lashed the state of Yap—one of the four states of the Federated Islands of Micronesia, located just over 1,000 kilometers (over 620 miles) east of the Philippines—on its way westward through the South Pacific Ocean. After being pummeled by winds over 120 mph for several hours, the islands and atolls that make up the state were designated a disaster area.
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