A typhoon headed toward Taiwan and the southern coast of China is rapidly gaining in speed and strength ahead of an expected landfall later this week.
Typhoon Chanthu has rapidly intensified in the past 36 hours from a tropical depression into a severe typhoon, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre with maximum wind speeds of up to 233 kilometers per hour (145 miles per hour). It is likely Chanthu will expand into a super typhoon in the coming hours.
Given the trajectory of the storm, it is still unclear whether Chanthu will first pass over Taiwan before it slams into southern China or narrowly miss the island. Either way, at its current pace, the storm is estimated to make landfall on either Saturday or Sunday.
Typhoon Chanthu is just one of two dangerous weather systems which are barreling across the western Pacific. Severe Tropical Storm Conson made landfall in the Philippines overnight on Monday and will pass over the country before it heads north towards China’s Hainan Island.
Conson is seeing wind speeds of up to 112 kph (70 mph). According to CNN Philippines while warning signals were hoisted across the storm’s path, no major damage has been reported so far.
Chanthu is likely to be the strongest storm to hit Taiwan or mainland China since Typhoon In-fa in July, which worsened already severe flooding across China’s southeast.
In total, the economic losses from the typhoon and the flooding came to more than $14 billion according to Chinese state-run media.