NASA’s Aqua satellite showed powerful and large Super Typhoon Meranti headed to Taiwan.
Photo courtesy of NASA Goddard’s MODIS Rapid Response Team.
A massive storm is expected to make landfall in Taiwan and China today with winds gusting at near 300kph.
Super Typoon Meranti is looming large to the south of Taiwan, about 300km east of the Phillipines.
A large part of Taiwan and southeast China are forecast to experience heavy rain amounts, with flooding and mudslides both major concerns.
As of 1 a.m. on September 14, Meranti was expected to head west-northwest at speeds of 20kph, entering the northeastern South China Sea (known as the East Sea in Vietnam).
Then it will move northwest at the same speed towards Guangdong Province in China with maximum sustained wind speeds of 150kph. Its circulation will cause strong gusts of wind in the northeast of the South China Sea.
According to international meteorologists, with sustained winds of 297kph, it’s gone on record as this year’s strongest storm, and was able to keep up that intensity for nearly 24 hours.
Authorities in Vietnam’s central and northern provinces, from Ha Tinh to Quang Ninh, are taking measures to limit the possible damage by ordering vessels to move from the path of the storm, and rescue forces have been put on standby.
It will be the country’s fifth storm of the year, and central Vietnam has already experienced heavy rains this week after a tropical depression formed in the South China Sea and intensified into a typhoon on Monday.
Vietnam is hit by an average of eight to 10 tropical storms between July and October every year, which often cause heavy material and human losses.
Super Typhoon Meranti follows July’s Typhoon Nepartak that caused at least three deaths in Taiwan and cut power to over half a million people. Despite weakening to a tropical storm as it hit mainland China, Nepartak and its heavy rainfall of up to 254mm killed more than 80 people.