Super typhoon Vongfong, the strongest storm of 2014, is barreling across Pacific towards Japan



By RYAN GORMAN

A super typhoon with sustained winds of about 180 mph is barreling towards Japan.

Vongfong, by far the year's strongest tropical storm, is equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane and expected to strengthen further before slamming into Japan by this coming weekend.

"It's safe to say Vongfong is the strongest storm on earth since Haiyan last year," said Weather Channel storm specialist Michael Lowry.

Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people after barreling through the Philippines in November.

The terrifying storm rolled over Rota, a remote island about 45 miles north of Guam, and left 70 percent of the island without power, according to Guam PDN.

There were surprisingly no injuries or deaths from the direct hit.


"It's a blessing we have no injury, but there were minor structural damage," Rota Mayor Melchor Mendiola told the paper.

Currently steaming west, the storm is expected by forecasters to turn sharply towards the north and make a beeline for Kagoshima Prefecture, in southern Japan.

Vongfong is expected to significantly weaken to only a Category 2 storm as it passes over cooler water before it makes landfall north of Okinawa.

It will be the second typhoon to hit eastern Japan in only one week.

Typhoon Phanfone steamed into the country Sunday night into Monday morning. It flooded metropolitan Tokyo under feet of water, claimed multiple lives and caused a devastating accident during a Grand Prix race.

Three U.S. servicemen taking pictures of 15-foot waves near Kadena Air Base, in Okinawa, were swept out to sea. Seven other people were killed, including one person in a mudslide at a Buddhist monastery in Yokohoma, just south of Tokyo, Asahi Shimbun reported.

Dozens of others were injured, according to reports.

Though strong, Vongfong appears to not be headed for heavily populated northern and central areas of Japan.

Also on AOL:

Raw: Powerful Typhoon Hits Metropolitan Tokyo
Raw: Powerful Typhoon Hits Metropolitan Tokyo


Related links:
Typhoon washes 3 US airmen out to sea in Japan
Formula 1 driver Jules Bianchi's parents head to Japan
Floods ravaging southern France leaves scenes of devastation, destroys famed soccer stadium

The Latest from our Partners