Super Typhoon Chanthu is threatening to flood northern provinces in the Philippines as it intensifies at sea before heading to Taiwan.
A strong typhoon skirted past most of the Philippines on Friday but appeared to be gaining strength and heading directly for Taiwan this weekend, forecasters said.
Typhoon Chanthu was located about 415 nautical miles (478 miles) east of Manila on Thursday, packing winds of about 140 knots (161 miles per hour) and gusts up to 170 knots, the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center said. It will pass close to the main Philippine island of Luzon, home to about 53 million people, with sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (121 miles per hour) and gusts up to 240 kph (149 mph) before moving onward towards Taiwan with Its worst impact on Saturday, the country’s meteorological agency said.
Chanthu was 580 kilometers (360 miles) southeast of Taiwan and northeast of the Philippines the Central Weather Bureau said. A map on its website showed the storm on track to Taiwan or pass along its east coast on Saturday.
Taiwan issued a storm warning to ships at sea as Typhoon Chanthu churned toward the island Friday with wind gusts up to 234 kph (146 mph).
“Further weakening will begin on Sunday as the typhoon begins to interact with the rugged terrain of Taiwan but will remain within typhoon category throughout the forecast period. Considering these developments, the public and disaster risk reduction and management offices concerned are advised to take all necessary measures to protect life and property” the meteorological agency said.
The bureau said high waves were expected along Taiwan’s southern coast and in the Bashi Channel between its southern tip and the northernmost island in the Philippines.
An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines each year. Several areas on the main Luzon island are still reeling from the impact of typhoon Conson. This year’s second super typhoon will bring heavy to intense winds and torrential rains in areas north of Metro Manila, with floods and landslides possible, the Philippine weather bureau said Thursday.