This Typhoon Soudelor Video From Taiwan Shows How Insanely Terrifying A Cyclone Can Be — VIDEO
Over the weekend, southeastern China was hit with a powerful typhoon, with recorded peak winds of 180 miles per hour. Typhoon Soudelor killed at least 21 people in several cities in China and Taiwan, while more than 400 were injured, five remain missing, and nearly 200,000 have abandoned their homes for safety. As if the cyclone wasn't destructive enough — it flooded streets, caused mudslides, and destroyed houses — it also created a tornado that was strong enough to toss a minivan, and the entire episode was caught on video. Warning: Watching the footage might make you want to stay inside for the rest of your life.
Before slamming into China's Fujian province on Saturday night, Soudelor first entered Taiwain at around 5 a.m. The typhoon blew through Taiwan with sustained winds of 120 mph and an estimated 50 inches of rain. Occasionally, a typhoon's conditions combine to make a tornado as a byproduct, and that's exactly what happened with Soudelor. But as this video footage shows, just because it's a byproduct doesn't make the tornado any less destructive. The ease with which it swallows up a minivan and tosses it hundreds of feet is downright terrifying.
See for yourself. (But you've been warned.)
The driver starts recording before the tornado reaches the road. Right now, the only things that pose a threat are strong winds and rain.
But then, as the driver starts to converge with the path of the tornado, the winds get stronger and the skies get darker.
Suddenly, debris is flying everywhere as the tornado approaches.
A white minivan is stopped at an intersection, and was apparently desperate to escape scene.
Because it rips out in front of the driver who's recording, cutting him or her off. This was a mistake, and not only in terms of road etiquette.
The minivan basically drives directly into the path of the twister, which then proceeds to swallow it whole.
As the driver with the camera starts to slow down, the white minivan starts to disappear into the mouth of the tornado.
As it enters the column, it loses control.
And then completely disappears.
As the tornado engulfs the minivan, a woman suddenly appears on the side of the road unable to move. According to The Washington Post, the woman sustained major injuries.
The tornado continues to move farther into the distance.
If you squint, you can see the brake lights of the minivan, which is now hundreds of feet in the distance.
While the video is a rare glimpse into the astounding power of nature, it's best to leave storm chasing to the experts. Do not attempt this at home.Images: Mr. Cheng/ViralHog.com/Washington Post