Typhoon Usagi lashes Philippines, Taiwan, heads for Hong Kong
HENGTSUN, Taiwan (AFP) - Typhoon Usagi, the most powerful storm of the year, unleashed torrential rain and ferocious winds on Taiwan on Saturday, leaving tens of thousands without power after claiming at least two lives in the Philippines as it barrelled towards Hong Kong.
Southern Taiwan was hit by the storm, which brought torrential rain and ferocious winds, as it rolled past the Batanes island group in the far north of the Philippines - tearing coconut trees in half - and headed on towards the Chinese mainland.
At 1800 GMT Severe Typhoon Usagi was estimated to be 500km south-east of Hong Kong, forcing local carrier Cathay Pacific to warn that all its flights in and out of the city will be cancelled from 6pm on Sunday.
Usagi reached maximum sustained winds of up to 195kmh, the Hong Kong Observatory said, as people in the city reinforced windows in anticipation of the approaching storm's impact.