Strongest typhoon since 2013: Meranti to hammer China with flooding rain after lashing Taiwan
Meranti will continue to barrel toward eastern China after battering Taiwan with flooding rain, damaging winds, mudslides and dangerous storm surge.
Meranti reached super typhoon status on Monday afternoon local time with sustained winds of 290 km/h (180 mph), equivalent to a powerful Category 5 hurricane. A super typhoon is classified when sustained wind speeds hit at least 240 km/h (150 mph).
While Meranti has weakened some and is no longer considered a super typhoon, it still poses a threat to eastern China.
Meranti was the strongest typhoon in the Western Pacific since Super Typhoon Haiyan in November of 2013, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the world. Haiyan, also known as Yolanda in some countries, was the deadliest typhoon to hit the Philippines in recorded history. More than 6,000 people were killed.
The eye of the cyclone tracked directly over the island of Itbayat, located in the Philippines, early Wednesday morning local time with sustained winds around 97 knots (111 mph).
Meranti brought damage to much of Taiwan with the worst conditions along the southeast coast. Rough surf will batter the coast through Wednesday with a storm surge of 2 to 3 meters (7 to 10 feet).
Sustained winds of 160 km/h to 190 km/h (100 mph to 120 mph) are also likely near the southeast coast, resulting in downed trees and widespread power outages.
Significant rainfall of 250 to 500 mm (10 to 20 inches) will be possible with locally higher amounts of up to 750 mm (30 inches) in the mountains.
“Rainfall of this magnitude will lead to significant flash flooding and mudslides,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Adam Douty said.