Typhoon Meranti is Earth's strongest storm of year, targets Taiwan and China

Clocking wind speeds of 185 mph, Super Typhoon Meranti, now the Earth's strongest storm of the year, is forecast to graze Taiwan on Wednesday before barreling into China.
 
The monster storm is the strongest recorded since 2013, when Super Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippines.
 
Meranti prompted Taiwan officials to evacuate nearly 1,800 tourists from offshore islands and close some schools and offices.
 
The storm produced gusts of 225 mph Tuesday morning, along with waves around 48 feet, the Joint Typhoon Warning Center said.
 
Though predicted to weaken as it approaches land, Meranti is still expected to bring flooding rain, damaging winds and dangerous storm surge to Taiwan, according to AccuWeather.
 
In Taiwan, Meranti's peak impacts will be Wednesday local time (Tuesday night and early Wednesday EDT), weather.com said.
 
Rainfall totals could approach 30 inches in the mountains of Taiwan, and could lead to significant flash flooding and mudslides, AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty said.
 
Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau issued a typhoon warning for central and southern parts of the country, including Tainan City and Kaohsiung City, weather.com reported.
 
Some Taiwan residents, especially those in remote areas, are not well prepared to withstand the typhoon's strong gales, the China Post newspaper reported.  Xianglan Village in Taitung, battered badly by Typhoon Nepartak in July, has not yet been fully reconstructed, the paper said.
 
Nepartak made landfall on the southeastern shore of Taiwan as a Category 4 super typhoon with top sustained winds of 150 mph in July, killing three people.
 
Sustained winds of 100 mph to 120 mph are likely when Meranti nears the shore on Wednesday, resulting in downed trees and power outages, AccuWeather warned. Ferry service has already been suspended in some areas.
 
After impacting Taiwan, the storm will move toward mainland China by Thursday, where the potential remains for Meranti to make landfall with winds equivalent to that of a Category 3 hurricane, Douty said.
 
As of Tuesday morning U.S. time, the typhoon recorded 185-mph winds for 18 straight hours, a feat only matched by two other typhoons since 1970, according to meteorologist Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University.
 
A typhoon become as "super typhoon" when sustained wind speeds reach 150 mph.

 


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