MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Huaning (Soulik) has maintained its strength as it closes in on Taiwan late Thursday, July 11.
Huaning was 690 kilometers east northeast of Itbayat, Batanes as of 4 pm, carrying maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 220 km/h.
Storm signal number 1 continues to be in effect over the province of Batanes, where winds 45-60 km/h will be felt within 36 hours, the bureau said in its 5 pm severe weather bulletin.
The typhoon is currently moving west northwest at a speed of 20 km/h, towards the general direction of northern Taiwan.
By Friday afternoon, July 12, it will be 410 km northeast of Itbayat, and by Saturday afternoon, it will be 540 km north northwest of the town, outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
Heavy to torrential rainfall (10-46 mm/h) is estimated within the typhoon’s 900 km diameter.
Small seacraft are advised to stay off the waters of northern and eastern Luzon, due to possible big waves generated by the typhoon.
Taiwan preps for typhoon
Based on forecasts by regional weather bureaus, Huaning could narrowly skip or make landfall in the north of Taiwan sometime between late Friday and Saturday morning (July 12 or 13).
The Hong Kong Observatory has classified Soulik as a “super typhoon” on its website, while Taiwan’s weather bureau listed it as a “strong typhoon”.
On the Chinese mainland, meteorological authorities maintained an orange alert — the second-highest level — for Soulik on Thursday, Beijing’s official Xinhua news agency reported.
After hitting or passing Taiwan on Saturday Soulik is expected to head towards the coastal provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian, bringing “extremely strong” winds, it cited the National Meteorological Center as saying.
The next PAGASA bulletin will be released 11 pm Thursday. – With reports from the Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com