Typhoon Megi is expected to make landfall Tuesday in Taiwan, according to reports. The Category 2 equivalent typhoon, which is currently in the western Pacific Ocean about 300 miles southeast of Taipei, Taiwan, intensified Monday from a tropical storm to a Category 2 typhoon at wind speeds of 105 miles per hour.
Typhoon warnings and several advisories of “extremely heavy rain” have been issued by Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau. Officials say Megi could hit Taiwan in the afternoon local time, potentially bringing severe destruction to the island country from fallen trees, power outages, coastal flooding and extreme damage to poorly-constructed buildings. In Hualien City, on the east coast of Taiwan, a 635-ton crane was knocked over Monday by strong winds, according to reports. No injuries were reported following the accident, but there are higher chances of similar destruction throughout the country as Megi’s wind speed and rainfall increases.
The torrential rainfall, especially over the higher levels of the country, could accumulate anywhere between one to two feet through Wednesday, which has prompted flash flooding and landslide warnings near Taiwan’s mountain regions of Yilan County and Hualien City. Raising the threat of flooding and landslide even higher, Taiwan’s mountain communities are still recovering from highly saturated grounds following two of this season's previous four typhoons, Meranti and Malaskas, which hit the island earlier this month.
The country usually experiences three to four typhoons each year, according to the Central Weather Bureau, and they have historically taken place in July, August and September.
Evacuations are already in motion in Taiwan, and, according to reports, more than 3,700 tourists were transported by ferry to safer grounds on Taiwan’s Green Island and Orchard Island over the weekend while residents can seek refuge in 92 different shelters. More than 35,000 soldiers are on reserve to help with disaster relief.
After Megi’s likely hit on Taiwan, the storm is expected to spread into southeast China.