Super Typhoon Usagi hits Taiwan, Philippines
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - The most powerful typhoon of the year was sweeping through the Luzon Strait on Saturday, battering island communities and drenching southern Taiwan and the northern Philippines.
Super Typhoon Usagi had maximum sustained winds of 222kmh and gusts exceeding 260kmh early Saturday, and was 550km south of Taipei, Taiwan's capital, according to the United States Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Centre. A storm achieves super typhoon status when winds reach 240kmh.
The eye of the storm passed over the Batanes islands early on Saturday, Philippine officials said. There were no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
China's National Meteorological Centre announced a red alert, the observatory's highest, as the storm maintained its track towards Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta. The observatory warned Usagi will impact coastal areas of Zhejiang and Fujian provinces.