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Breathtaking views of super-typhoon Maysak from space (PHOTO)

Breathtaking views of super-typhoon Maysak from space (PHOTO)
Rarely is a spectacle like this captured. The crew aboard the ISS flew over record-breaking super-typhoon Maysak, whose maximum sustained speeds reach 160 miles an hour (257kph) as it prowled the Western Pacific.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti on Wednesday shared the images of the monster as it prepared to hover menacingly over the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

A closer look... #Maysakpic.twitter.com/yyB1509oTr

— Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) March 31, 2015

The series of tweeted photos show a giant gaping hole forming like an inverse apex at the center of the milky white mass of clouds.

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center gave Maysak the ‘super’ prefix on Tuesday afternoon. Reports indicate that its winds will slow down, however, as it reaches the Philippines.

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Despite the good news, local authorities have urged the population to prepare for the worst. The cyclone will reach the islands on either Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Latest forecasts predict the former. A threat of strong floods is present, despite the weakening winds.

Commands respect even from #space: we just flew over typhoon #Maysak. pic.twitter.com/w86GnxmaO2

— Sam Cristoforetti (@AstroSamantha) March 31, 2015

Although sustained winds have been set at 160mph, strong gusts can easily reach more than that.

Maysak has also set the record for the first time ever that two major Category 3 or above typhoons take place before April.

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