Typhoon Soudelor: When will it hit Taiwan – and how bad will it be?

The super typhoon is due to make landfall in Taiwan within the next 48 hours

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The most powerful storm this year is hurtling across the Pacific Ocean toward Taiwan.

Typhoon Soudelor was upgraded to a “Super typhoon” on Tuesday after wind speeds of up to 220mph were recorded but it has since weakened.

When will it arrive?

According to the Weather Channel, the storm is due to arrive on the Taiwanese mainland at on Saturday morning local time.

Thanks to a high pressure weather system, it will pass over the Japanese Ryukyu Islands before heading onto Taiwan and then southern China instead of being pushed out towards the sea of Japan.

How big is it?

The typhoon was classed as a super typhoon on Tuesday meaning it could be the biggest storm to hit Taiwan in at least three years.

It has devastated the island of Saipan in the American controlled North Marina Islands with residents still without water and electricity four days after it hit.

By Thursday the storm had become a category two storm which means it had sustained wind speeds of 105mph but experts believe it could get stronger again and reach up to 135mph winds when it reaches the mainland, according to NBC News.

Where will it hit?

There is a chance the storm may hit the capital, Taipei as Weather Channel but it will primarily affect the populous west side of the island.

Total rainfall is expected to be over 12 inches in the central mountains of the country with Taipei experiencing 6 inches.


How bad will it be?

More than 2,000 people have already been evacuated from the outlying islands, AFP reports.

A sea warning has been put in place and officials say it will be followed by a land warning.

The typhoon is expected to cause flooding and landslides in the mountains with the high winds causing potential structural damage to buildings, felling trees and triggering power outages.

Around 32,000 soldiers are on standby to help with any disaster relief, the Taiwanese defence ministry has said.