Typhoon Sanba exploded in intensity between its formation on September 10 and September 13, when it became the most powerful cyclone in 2012. On September 13, Sanba became a Category 5 Super Typhoon, with winds of 175 mph, and sustained those winds for an 18-hour period ending at 12:00 UTC on September 14. Sanba is not only the strongest storm of 2012 to date, but it is the strongest typhoon in the Western Pacific Ocean since Super Typhoon Megi carried maximum sustained winds of 180 mph in October, 2010.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Aqua satellite captured this true-color image at 4:50 UTC (12:50 a.m. EDT) on September 13, 2012. In this image Typhoon Sanba has a large eye which is surrounded by a thick area of strong convection (rising air) and strong thunderstorms. Earlier in the day the eye had been measured at 20 nautical miles (23 mi or 37 km) wide. Clouds from the typhoon extend over part of the Philippines in the southwest of the image.
After brushing the Philippines, Sanba made landfall in northeastern Okinawa, Japan in the early morning hours of September 16, then turned towards South Korea, where it made landfall on September 17. At 0900 UTC (5:00 a.m. EDT) on September 17, Sanbal’s maximum sustained winds were near 52 mph (83 km/h). The storm had weakened considerably since peak strength, but nonetheless brought howling winds and heavy rainfall, causing downed trees, flooding, and power outages. According to the Associated Press, Sanba caused about 67,000 homes to lose power in southern Japan, and over 26,000 outages in South Korea. At least one death was reported.