On Monday, July 23, tropical storm Doksuri evolved into a typhoon and is expected to further develop into a super typhoon by Tuesday as it meanders its way into the Luzon Strait between the Philippines and Taiwan.
A super typhoon would be considered a Category 5 storm in the Atlantic Ocean, with estimated wind speeds of up to 253 kilometres per hour or 157 miles per hour.
As the storm intensifies, forecasters are concerned that it may make landfall in the Chinese province of Guangdong, after hitting the southern tip of Taiwan and could impact Hong Kong.
Authorities in Hong Kong said on Monday that it may issue its second typhoon alert of the year.
At 4 pm on Monday, Doksuri was about 580 km (360 miles) northeast of Manila with forecasters saying that its estimated maximum wind speeds could surge to 195 kilometres per hour or 121 miles per hour by Tuesday.
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Speaking on a radio program on Monday, David Lam Hok-yin, acting senior scientific officer at an observatory in Hong Kong said, “Typhoon Doksuri could potentially move towards the south of Taiwan or the eastern coast of Guangdong province,” adding that, “If it moves towards southern Taiwan, the downdraft’s main impact on Hong Kong would be hotter weather. If it moves westwards towards eastern Guangdong, then there will be a higher impact on Hong Kong’s weather, with more showers and stronger winds.”
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According to the Observatory, Doksuri, which means “eagle” in Korean, will create squally thunderstorms triggered by high temperatures, and could impact the southeastern coast of China later this week.
The storm’s exact path is unknown. It could make a direct hit on Taiwan, which would bring devastating damage but weaken the storm before it made landfall on the mainland, or it could miss Taiwan altogether and hit the Chinese province of Guangdong.
Taiwan’s weather agency is expected to issue a warning by Tuesday, advising seabound vessels to be vigilant, and telling residents to avoid beaches.
The uncertainty has prompted many governments in the region to brace, including the government of the Philippines.
Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. suspended all public school classes on Monday and closed government offices in the capital region, excluding those that provide critical services.
It was just a week ago that typhoon Talim, the season’s first typhoon, slammed into Guangdong province, bringing torrential rains, flash flooding and even beached a whale.
Nearly 230,000 people were forced to evacuate according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
The typhoon forced the closure of 68 coastal tourist spots, the recall of thousands of fishing vessels, and the cancellation of numerous flights, the agency said.
The storm’s impact was felt as far northeast as Fuzhou city in Fujian province, where residents reported flash flooding that carried vehicles, furniture and household appliances through the streets.