TAIPEI: Taiwan’s weather bureau warned of high winds and heavy rain as Typhoon Chanthu roared toward the island Saturday and said the storm’s centre was likely to pass its east coast instead of hitting land.
The bureau issued a typhoon warning for the southern half of Taiwan late Friday after Chanthu passed through Philippine waters with sustained winds of 215 kph (135 mph) and gusts up to 265 kph (165 mph).
Forecasters expect Chanthu to pass Taiwan’s east coast on Sunday, but the outer edge of the storm should dump rain on the island, the Taiwanese and Philippine weather agencies said.
On Friday, Philippine authorities issued storm warnings for Cagayan and Ilocos Norte provinces on its northern island of Luzon and for sparsely inhabited islands of Luzon's northern coast. There were no immediate reports of flooding or damage.
Chanthu's wind speeds put it on the verge of becoming a “super typhoon,” which has winds of at least 220 kph (137 mph).
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.
A smaller typhoon slammed into the eastern Philippines on Tuesday, causing power outages in several provinces before weakening into a severe tropical storm as it moved west-northwest over the Sibuyan Sea.