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'Monster' Typhoon Ioke Makes Direct Hit on Wake Island


Super Typhoon Ioke has made a direct hit on Wake Island, pounding the tiny U.S. Pacific territory with catastrophic winds of up to 300 kilometers an hour.

Ioke is the strongest central Pacific typhoon in at least 12 years. Forecasters expect the "monster" storm to submerge Wake Island and destroy everything on it that is not made of concrete.

Wake is home to a U.S. Air Force base and a scientific outpost, roughly midway between Hawaii and Japan.

The eye of the typhoon skirted the north edge of the coral atoll Thursday. The U.S. Air Force had already evacuated all of the island's 188 residents to Hawaii, 3,700 kilometers across the Pacific.

The residents - Air Force personnel and American and Thai contractors - left Monday aboard two U.S. C-17 Globemaster planes. It was the first time the territory was evacuated in nearly 30 years.