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Super typhoon Usagi eyes Hong Kong with winds of 163mph

 
 
 
 
 
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Filipino children scamper across wrecked floating shanties at a village in Paranaque city, south of Manila: The Filipino weather bureau warned that storm surges and heavy waves could cause more heavy damage tonight

The most powerful typhoon of the year was eyeing landfall on Hong Kong today as it swept past the Philippines and Taiwan, sparing those countries from the worst of its wrath.

Typhoon Usagi had gusts exceeding 163 mph this morning as it battered island communities in the Luzon Strait, according to the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

China’s National Meteorological Centre announced a red alert, its highest level, as the storm maintained its track toward Hong Kong and the manufacturing heartland of the Pearl River Delta.

The most powerful typhoon of the year was eyeing landfall on Hong Kong today as it swept past the Philippines and Taiwan, sparing those countries from the worst of its wrath.

Typhoon Usagi had gusts exceeding 163 mph this morning as it battered island communities in the Luzon Strait, according to the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

China’s National Meteorological Centre announced a red alert, its highest level, as the storm maintained its track toward Hong Kong and the manufacturing heartland of the Pearl River Delta.

As the storm passed 342 miles south of Taiwanese capital Taipei, the country’s Central Weather Bureau said it was veering west, mostly likely sparing the country’s south from the most destructive winds near its eye.

But gusts of nearly 150mph were recorded on the Taiwanese island of Lanyu, and the bureau warned that dangerous winds were buffeting the holiday resort of Kending on the Hengchun peninsula.

In the Philippines, the storm triggered landslides and power outages in parts of the north of the country, including the Batanes island group, where it made landfall early this morning.

No casualties have been reported.

The Filipino weather bureau warned that storm surges and heavy waves could cause damage in the Batanes and other islands in the Luzon Strait before Usagi blows past the country by tonight.

In Taiwan, nearly 2,500 people were evacuated from flood-prone areas and remote mountainous regions as the government deployed military personnel into potential disaster zones.

The storm system has dumped more than 8in of rain along the eastern and southern coasts in a 13-hour period, with officials warning that a total rainfall of 39in could drop before the storm leaves tomorrow.

Local officials closed mountain highways blocked by landslides and suspended train services connecting the east and west coasts as power outages affected thousands of homes.

Usagi has a massive diameter of 680 miles, with its outer rain bands extending across Luzon and all of Taiwan across to the Chinese coast.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau warned winds of 63mph could hit Taipei.

The Office of Civil Defense in Manila said landslides damaged houses and roads, and pockets of power outages were reported in at least five northern provinces, where several roads and bridges were impassable.

Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair said flights today were unaffected except for one canceled flight.

But both airlines warned of delays and cancelations at Hong Kong International Airport from tomorrow evening to Monday morning, and urged passengers to postpone non-essential travel on those two days.

Source

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