China braces itself for ‘the most powerful storm yet this year’
September 21, 2013
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 observatory warned that Usagi would also smash into coastal areas of Guangdong, Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.
The Hong Kong Observatory said today that Usagi was 406 miles east-southeast of the city.
It predicted that the storm’s maximum sustained winds would weaken to 103mph by 2pm on Sunday as it approaches Hong Kong before making landfall overnight.