Taiwan and the southern Japanese island chains of Ryukyu Islands and the Miyako Islands are set to feel the full brunt of Super Typhoon Maria, now a Category 4 Super Typhoon.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 220 kph near the centre and gusts up to 280 kph, the Maria is expected to cross over the northern tip of Taiwan during the day on Tuesday.
“The northern part of Taiwan should be spared the worst impacts from Maria, but we will have to continue to monitor the track for signs of a more southward path,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Houk said.
Maria was 1,290 kilometers east-southeast of Taipei as of 8 am on Monday local time, the Taiwan’s weather bureau said.
The storm is heading west-northwest with decreasing speed at 29 kilometers per hour and comes amid extreme weather in other parts of Asia. Japan is grappling with the fallout from historic rainfall in the country’s west which killed 90 people and pushed more than 23,000 into evacuation centres.
Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport along with airports located on the southern Japanese islands are bracing for the storm with a number of carriers already announcing flight cancellations
It is currently unclear whether the storm will make direct landfall in Taiwan. The weather bureau forecasts it to be at its closest on Tuesday evening.
Taipei-based China Airlines announced today that for flights tomorrow (July 10) between Taoyuan and Okinawa have been cancelled until 11 July. The carrier has also brought forward flight timings for Europe, North America and Australia.
Super Typhoon Maria could bring strong winds and heavy rains to northern and central Taiwan in the coming days, Central Weather Bureau specialist Judy Wuu told reporters on Monday.