The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured this image of deadly Tropical Storm Washi as it began its pass over the southern Philippines on December 16, 2011. The storm inundated the southern areas, bringing 12 hours of sustained rainfall and causing severe flooding and landslides. It was reported that walls of water crashed down mountain slopes and into homes, and that in some areas water rose three feet in one hour.
By December 18, over 650 people were reported dead, according to the Philippine Red Cross, and death tolls are expected to increase as relief workers reach remote areas.
In this image, the western half of Washi can be seen over Minandao in the southern Philippines. At 1500 UTC (10 a.m. EST) on Dec. 16, about 13 hours this image was captured, Tropical Storm Washi's maximum sustained winds were near 50 knots (57 mph/92 kmh). Those tropical storm-force winds extend out 50 miles (80 km) from the center making the storm over 100 miles in diameter.