Taifun gefährdet Hongkong (E)

Hongkong, 20.09.2013 – The most powerful storm on Earth in 2013, was on Friday on course to make landfall just kilometers from Hong Kong, according to storm-track predictions.

A warning issued late on Thursday by Hong Kong’s Observatory stated Super Typhoon Usagi, believed to be a storm, which intensified last night to a super typhoon, will “pose a threat to Hong Kong” on Sunday. Its storm tracker showed the typhoon to be on a direct trajectory toward the city, although it could change direction with two days still to go.

“By that time the weather will deteriorate significantly, with high winds and rough seas,” the Observatory said.

“If you are planning to travel out of Hong Kong or [have] other activities [scheduled], please be reminded that changes in the weather may affect your plans.”

Xinhua reported that Chinese authorities on Friday issued a disaster relief alert ahead of the typhoon which it said was expected to hit coastal regions of southern China’s Guangdong Province on Sunday.

At noon on Friday the storm was about 690 kilometers northeast of Manila. It is forecast to move northwest or west-northwest at about 18 kilometers per hour across the western North Pacific in the general direction of the Luzon Strait.

Winds of 205 kilometers (127 miles) per hour were expected to bring torrential rain and destructive gusts. Philippine weather bureau forecaster Alvin Pura said the super typhoon had gathered strength and speed with gusts reaching 240 kph (150 mph).

“It is the strongest typhoon in the west Pacific region this year,” a weather forecaster at the Taiwan Central Weather Bureau said. “Usagi is this year’s most powerful tropical storm by wind speed anywhere in the world,” Cheng Ming-Dean, director of Taiwan’s Weather Bureau added.

The Wall Street Journal reported the super typhoon’s winds reached speeds of 160mph on Thursday, making it bigger than Typhoon Utor, which passed within 600km of Hong Kong in August.

In the last 24 hours, a cyclone in the west Pacific has explosively intensified, and is on a track towards Hong Kong. Source: tourexpi