- Posted September 20, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Super Typhoon Usagi, 'world's strongest storm of 2013', heading for Hong Kong
Super Typhoon Usagi, believed to be the most powerful storm on Earth in 2013, was on Friday on course to make landfall just kilometres from Hong Kong, according to storm-track predictions.
A warning issued late on Thursday by Hong Kong's Observatory stated the storm, which intensified last night to a super typhoon, will on Sunday "pose a threat to Hong Kong". Its storm tracker showed the typhoon to be on a direct trajectory with the city, although with two days still to go it could change direction.
"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 having other activities, please be reminded that changes in the weather may affect your plans."
At noon on Friday it was centred about 690 kilometres northeast of Manila. It is forecast to move northwest or west-northwest at about 18 kilometres 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 that the typhoon had gathered strength and speed with gustiness of 240 kph (150 mph).
Wall Street Journal reported that its winds reached gusts of 160mph on Thursday, making it bigger than Typhoon Utor which passed within 600km of Hong Kong in August.
An Observatory spokesman said: “By and large typhoons that pass the Luzon Strait have relatively big impact on Guangdong coastal areas.
It was now hard to estimate whether Usagi would hit Hong Kong head-on, he said, because the typhoon remains distant from the city.
“A slight change of its direction can have a considerable difference in terms of its impact on Hong Kong,” the spokesman explained.
Taiwanese authorities urged residents on southern parts of the island to carry out precautionary measures as Usagi approaches.
China's state news agency Xinhua reported a "yellow alert" had been issued as the storm approaches the country.